Hasenhüttl glad the wait is over

By SFC Media Fri 29 Mar Brighton v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

The wait has been a long one, and Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl is as pleased as anyone that it is now over.

It is three weeks since Saints played – winning a dramatic clash with Tottenham, 2-1, at St Mary's – with the FA Cup and March internationals causing a prolonged break in their schedule.

They are back in action tomorrow, though, as they look to further boost their Premier League survival hopes with a visit to Brighton & Hove Albion, who sit just three points above them in the table.

it's the last eight games now and we know how important they are.

ralph hasenhüttl
southampton manager

"We're happy that this break is over now," said Hasenhüttl. "For the guys, it's good to have this focus on the game at the weekend. It's a different kind of motivation.

"It's the last eight games now and we know how important they are. It's good that we can start being focused for them."

Saints head into the weekend in 16th position, two points clear of the bottom three, but knowing a victory at Brighton would represent a major step towards achieving the goal of retaining top-flight status.

It is a big ask for Hasenhüttl's side to overtake the Seagulls – they would need to win by three clear goals to do so – but three points would pull them level with their opponents, and potentially 14th-placed Crystal Palace, depending on their result at home to Huddersfield.

For Hasenhüttl, the importance of the game is clear.

"I know you want to speak about a six-pointer and it is right," he said. "It is a team that is in our area and with a win we can get close to them. Every point we take there is a big one for us.

"We have shown we can win away games also. The last two against the big teams we played were good, but we didn't take points, so it's important that we show we can win the points."

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