Hasenhüttl: We can be better with the ball

By SFC Media time Tue 26 Jan Saints vs Arsenal
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Three days after beating Arsenal in the Emirates FA Cup at St Mary's, Southampton once again welcome Mikel Arteta's team to St Mary's, this time in the Premier League, and manager Ralph Hasenhüttl wants his side to show an improvement in their work with the ball during the latest contest between the clubs.

Saints prevailed in the fourth-round tie at the weekend, as an own goal from Gabriel Magalhães proved enough to send them into the last 16 of the competition, with attention now turning to the second part of the double-header, on Tuesday night.

Hasenhüttl was a happy man after the performance on Saturday, but there are still areas he feels can be better in this next matchup.

"The good thing was the defensive work," he said. "I think it was absolutely ok. We didn't give them a lot of chances.

"What we can definitely do better is our game with the ball. It was not so calm, it was not so organised, not so brave like we want to do normally, and I think there we can play much better.

"The chances we created were ok. I think there can be a few more, and then a little bit more clinical in the final pass and the final decision, but it's a strong side. We know that we need to have every part of our game being good on Tuesday night."

As well as progress in the cup, Saturday's result also represented a fifth clean sheet in the past six games for Saints.

"We spoke last season that it is not possible to concede so many goals and this season is the first season where we are defensively in a different mindset and a different mentality on the pitch," said Hasenhüttl.

"We defend better as a team together and this is always the basis of everything."

they rested a few players on saturday, so it can definitely be a different squad.

ralph hasenhüttl
on facing arsenal again

While Saints indeed defended extremely well on Saturday, Hasenhüttl is also expecting that it will be a different Arsenal side they have to contend with under the St Mary's floodlights this evening.

"Yes, for sure, because they have a very big squad and rested a few players on Saturday, so it can definitely be a different squad," said the manager, who himself is without the injured Kyle Walker-Peters and suspended Ryan Bertrand.

"But, anyway, for us it doesn't change a lot, we are always more focused on us and our behaviours and that's the reason why that's not so interesting for me."

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