Hasenhuttl: Southampton can see small light at end of tunnel
Saints beat Arsenal last time out for their first win since September 1.
Ralph Hasenhuttl says Southampton’s players want to “jump on the train because it’s leaving the station” after the club climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone.
Hasenhuttl enjoyed a dream home debut as Saints manager with Sunday’s surprise 3-2 win over Arsenal.
The Austrian believes the overdue victory, which ended a 14-game winless run, has given the struggling club a major morale boost and left his players itching to be involved.
“This week five players came out of the physio room and I trained this week with 23 players,” said Hasenhuttl.
“You see everyone now wants to jump on the train because it’s leaving the station.
“It can be a coincidence that everyone is fit now again, but I think they feel that here, in the moment, we build up something interesting and everyone wants to be part of it.”
A pair of headers from Danny Ings and Charlie Austin’s 85th-minute winner earned the three points against the Gunners.
It was Saints’ first victory since beating Crystal Palace on September 1 and moved them out of the bottom three on goal difference.
Former RB Leipzig coach Hasenhuttl insists his squad have plenty of hard work ahead of them, starting with Saturday’s “six-pointer” at second-bottom Huddersfield.
“We can see a small light at the end of the tunnel and I think the way to go out of this situation we are in at the moment is a long one,” he said.
“The next game against Huddersfield is very important for us because we can send a strong signal to ourselves and the league that we are not leaning back and are working hard and focusing on a first away win since Crystal Palace.
“It’s a six-point game. It can be a huge step for us.
“No-one thought that we can do something against Arsenal but against Huddersfield it’s a completely different situation.
“Against Arsenal we were not the favourite and in Huddersfield it is a 50-50 game, I think.”
Hasenhuttl takes charge of three more top-flight fixtures before he has the chance to alter his squad in the January transfer window.
The 51-year-old says he has no unhappy players at St Mary’s and dismissed speculation linking Mario Lemina and Manolo Gabbiadini with moves away.
“No one here feels uncomfortable at the moment and if he does we find a solution,” he said.
“With Lemina and Gabbiadini we know what we are looking for to prepare these players for the future.
“Lemina is a very important player for us, one of our best midfield players, and though he’s not 100 per cent fit, I need him.
“We don’t want to speak about speculation. The players know what they have with Southampton, what they can expect from us, and that’s the main part.”