Hasenhüttl: We can overcome loss of Højbjerg

By SFC Media Thu 27 Dec Saints v West Ham
Photo by Matt Watson | Pierre-Emile Højbjerg

Southampton will be without Pierre-Emile Højbjerg for the Premier League clash with West Ham – but Ralph Hasenhüttl is happy that he has the ideal replacement for his suspended midfielder.

Højbjerg misses Thursday's game after reaching five yellow cards for the season, in the win at Huddersfield, as he serves a one-match ban.

Hasenhüttl has been extremely impressed with the form of the Dane in the victories over Arsenal and the Terriers, but is also pleased to have someone of the quality of Mario Lemina to fill the void left behind.

lemina is a fantastic player. i think he will be a perfect substitute for him.

ralph hasenhüttl
southampton manager

"I think he has raised his performance a lot in the last two games," said the manager of Højbjerg.

"He was a very important player for our team the last two games, but we have Lemina back after his injury, and normally he will take his part.

"Everyone knows Lemina is a fantastic player. He hasn't played as long in this system, but I think he will be a perfect substitute for him."

While Saints are high on confidence, following a return of six points from a possible six, Hasenhüttl says standards cannot slip if they are to make it three successive victories against a quality West Ham side.

"I know this team struggled at the beginning, but then, like we have now, they had a good phase of wins in a row," he said.

"It's a good team, and with [Marko] Arnautović they have a very good striker. I don't know if he's coming back against us, but it's a team with quality absolutely, so we need the best performance we can put on the pitch to win that game."

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