Ralph Hasenhüttl says his Southampton side will face Manchester City with no fear when the teams go head to head at St Mary’s on Sunday.
Saints have returned after the three-month Premier League suspension with two wins out of three, reaching the much-coveted 40-point mark with six games to spare.
Now Hasenhüttl’s men are looking up the table rather than over their shoulders. The boss insists his team will not be scared of their talented opponents, and must outwork the City players to achieve a positive result.
“It was never our way to go into a game against a top team like this,” he said. “Fear is not a good partner in that moment – you need to have bravery and respect, yes, but also belief in what you’re doing.
“Even then, it’s about knowing that you have to invest more than the opponent does. If you run the same, sprint the same and fight the same, you will be second.
“If you do it more than the opponent, you have a chance to get a surprising result.”
Hasenhüttl watched City demolish newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool 4-0 on Thursday evening in a statement performance.
“Everybody has seen their game against the champions – they played fantastic, but the game could’ve gone in a different direction,” he observed.
“In the beginning, if Liverpool would’ve scored I think the game could’ve ended up in a different result.
“There is always a chance. We have the highest respect for this team, but we are looking forward to this game.”