Hasenhüttl: I'll pick my strongest team

By SFC Media Mon 23 Sep Portsmouth v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson

Ralph Hasenhüttl says he will pick the strongest team possible for the south coast derby with Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup third round.

Saints face their rivals for the first time in seven years, having progressed past Fulham at the second round stage.

And Hasenhüttl says he is fully aware of the importance of the game to the supporters, while also being wary of not risking players to their detriment long-term.

“I will pick the strongest XI that I can put on the pitch because we know about the importance of the game, he said.

“As you know, for example against Fulham, we did the same but that doesn’t mean that it’s the same squad that we played last Friday because we had a few players that we injured like Nathan Redmond for example and then you must look how he went out with cramps in his muscles on Friday evening.

“We will have a look if it makes sense or if it is too much risk to take him from the beginning. Maybe he [Redmond] is an option then from the bench. I take the best possible team but sure, we will not be taking risks to lose one player for a long time because in the last cup game we had three injured players.

“When my medical department says it is ok and you can take him, then I’ll do it but if not I don’t take the risk.”

One player who will be unavailable is winger Moussa Djenepo, who is continuing to recover from a muscle issue.

Hasenhüttl said: “It can take longer until he is back in the team, which is not really good for us that he could be longer out.

“It’s a very difficult injury because the tendon is a little bit hurt and it’s a big risk to take him on the pitch. He still has problems with his muscle and he cannot shoot.

“It also can be that the other muscles take the function and try to make this muscle more stable but in the moment I don’t have a really good message.”

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