Hasenhüttl on hectic festive schedule

By SFC Media time Wed 25 Dec Chelsea v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has said that facing two games in the space of 48 hours will be a challenging task, but he feels there is an opportunity to take points from both the Boxing Day trip to Chelsea and the subsequent home game against Crystal Palace.

Saints head to Stamford Bridge on Thursday off the back of what was arguably their best performance of the season, as they won 3-1 at Aston Villa, and Hasenhüttl is hopeful of providing a tougher test for a Chelsea team that beat his side at St Mary's earlier in the campaign.

we lost 4-1 earlier in the season, so we want to do it better than last time.

ralph hasenhüttl
on facing chelsea

"We are happy that we took this win, but also we know that it's not easy to go to Stamford Bridge, against a strong side," he said. "We lost 4-1 earlier in the season, so we want to do it better than last time.

"I think they had a very good start, a fantastic first month and then they had a struggle a little bit, especially in the home games, but they changed the shape now and played a fantastic game against Tottenham, which was maybe as Frank said the best in the season, so I think they are a very interesting side.

"They play at the weekend against Arsenal in a very important game, so maybe we are the smaller opponent if you like in between, but I think they still know about the importance of the home game and will do everything to win against us."

With only one day in between Chelsea and Palace, Hasenhüttl admitted that, to some extent, he needs to think about both games together.

But, while he is not a fan of such a short period in between fixtures, he is confident of managing the situation.

"It's something new for me also and really something you have to take care about," he said. "Some players, if they invest a lot in the first game they cannot play in the second, so you must think about both maybe, but even then you want always to play the best side – you don't want to give the signal that this game is more important than that one.

"Both are of the same importance and I see in both games the same chance to get points. But even then it's about taking them together. It's not really helpful this schedule, but we have to take it and find the best decisions."

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