Ahead of the first Premier League game of the new year against league leaders Liverpool, Ralph Hasenhuttl boasted of Southampton FC’s excellent defensive results. After an impressive start to the season with seven unbeaten games, Southampton were briefly top of the table, but have since dropped out of the European places to ninth.
In a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Fulham on Boxing Day, the Saints shared the points and managed another goalless draw on Dec. 29. Another goalless draw against West Ham in December, but the coach maintains the defense must be further tightened. “We need to find a good balance of keeping the ball and still creating chances, and I think that’s a good challenge for the next games,” Hasenhuttl said on Wednesday. But the most important thing for me is that this season we’ve conceded 19 goals so far, one less than Liverpool, and that’s the biggest change. “But the most important thing for me is that we’ve conceded 19 goals so far this season, one less than Liverpool, and that’s the biggest step. “horrible”horrible” “It’s definitely different when you’re not on the sidelines, but a good team doesn’t need a director all the time – and we have a good team now,” Hasenhuttl said. “It’s definitely a team that knows what to do, it’s more important to use the time before the game to set them up perfectly, and we definitely did a good job in the last 48 hours, and that’s why they were well organized. “The striker sustained an injury before Christmas, but the Austrian coach believes the return of Ings is important for the club with seven goals this season. ‘I think he’s all right, he had a strong start to the game,’ said Hasenhuttl. “It was a good goal, it’s a pity it was a bit offside again. “And yes, it’s natural that he’s not 100% (in his usual) rhythm after this injury, but it’s vital that he stays fit now. “He now has enough time to heal from his former club Liverpool for the next game. “I’m glad to have him back and we certainly need to have more punch going forward to score goals in the future, but I’m sure that’ll happen.”