Menu Close

Saints boss reckons Wolves as hard to beat as Liverpool or Spurs

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhüttl insists Wolves will be as difficult to beat as Liverpool or Tottenham this weekend.

Wolves return to Premier League action at St Mary’s tomorrow aiming to bounce back from their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Watford on Sunday.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have posted mixed results in the league recently, with two wins, three draws and two defeats from their last seven, while they have taken two points out of their last 12 on the road.

Saints have won three and lost four during the same spell – including 2-1 at home to Spurs and a 3-1 St Mary’s loss to Liverpool – and are one place but five points clear of the relegation zone.

Nevertheless Hasenhüttl believes Nuno’s men will be a stiff test for his side.

After the big teams everybody thought ‘here comes the easier ones’, but then you feel they are not any easier,” he said.

It is a different game and you have to focus on different parts of your game, maybe more ball possession, and we have to work on this part.
“This is a very strong opponent, a tough nut to crack and one of the most organised in the league. They have done a fantastic job and beat a lot of big teams.
“They play a similar shape to what we do and it will be interesting tactically for us. It’s not an easy game.
“I think they have showed they have a clear plan and also good players that can fill the plan with life.
“The whole way they want to play at the moment is a very successful one and it’s not a coincidence they are so high in the table.
“It’s not like the last games for us with Liverpool and Tottenham at home but Wolves at home is not easy for me.”

Saints still need another seven points to reach the magical 40-point mark regarded as the milestone for safety.
Hasenhüttl added: “The sooner we are safe the better it is. We all know the sooner we get the last wins we need for 40 points, the better and we have another chance at the weekend.”
Seven-goal top scorer Danny Ings returns for Southampton after being ineligible to face his parent club Liverpool in their last outing. Prior to that he played in the 1-0 south coast derby win at Brighton but missed the five previous six games through injury.
Hasenhüttl is considering pairing Ings and Shane Long up front together against Wolves. He said: “You have to know what you need in this game. Maybe both.

I didn’t say we have two strikers in this position as the only chance we need – I also see Longy also in other positions. He can play as a number 10 or with ‘Reddy’ (Nathan Redmond) at the very front. It’s possible and it was very good like this against Brighton.
“Ings is always itching to go, with energy and wanting to train very hard and to come back in the team and score again.”