Ralph Hasenhüttl believes the winter break comes at a good time for his Southampton players, who he says need to recharge their batteries to compete for 90 minutes.
Saints have turned in two impressive performances in the last two games but lost both, away to Liverpool in the Premier League and at Tottenham in the FA Cup.
On both occasions Saints suffered in the closing stages, and the boss admits he needs his team “in better shape” when they return to Premier League action on Saturday 15th February, against Burnley at St Mary’s.
“It would be nice to have a break with a win, knowing we are going to the next round,” he said after last night’s cup exit.
“We didn’t, which is a pity, but we will still try to recover and recharge the batteries.
“It is important for every player, and we must use it now to come back in better shape. We must bring back the players in the shape that they can play 90 minutes like we want to.
“Today we didn’t – we were not fresh, and we haven’t been that sharp in some duels, like we have been in the last games, so immediately you see we are not defending like we can.”