Hasenhuttl takes positives from FA Cup exit as focus switches to survival scrap
Derby came from 2-0 down before winning on penalties.
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl hopes his players can take some positives out of the FA Cup replay penalty shoot-out defeat by Derby back into their Premier League survival battle.
The Rams came from 2-0 down on Wednesday night, just as they did in the original third-round tie, to force extra-time before winning a penalty shoot-out 5-3 at St Mary’s Stadium.
Hasenhuttl accepts his squad failed to display the required focus to see the fixture out after two goals in as many second-half minutes from Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond had put them in control.
The Austrian, though, believes there were still glimpses of what his players can produce as they turn attentions back to the Premier League.
Southampton are currently in 16th place, but just a point above the relegation zone heading into Saturday’s home match against Everton.
“We will not take a big analysis of this (FA Cup) game in our meeting with the team, because the next (Premier League) game on Saturday needs to get as quick as possible in our focus,” Hasenhuttl said at a press conference on Thursday.
“Maybe (there were) a few good things, where we had a good transition forward, mainly the second goal we showed the ball was perfectly played from Jack (Stephens) to Reddy (Nathan Redmond) and was a fantastic goal.
“Maybe a good, few positive things out of this game and try to keep the negative stuff as small as possible.
“At the moment, it does not feel good that we are out of the FA Cup, but we have some important games now to follow and we have to show that we also can battle against Everton after 120 minutes on Wednesday evening.”
Southampton have been linked with RB Leipzig striker Jean-Kevin Augustin, a player Hasenhuttl worked with while manager at the German club.
The Austrian, though, refused to be drawn on whether a January move was imminent.
“I know Jean-Kevin very well, that is for sure. I think every player I know well is linked with us,” Hasenhuttl said.
“He has got qualities, he is very quick, can score and is used to the high-pressing methods we use, so that would help him if he would be here.
“But he isn’t and I don’t want to discuss any players that are maybe linked with us or not, so if there is a player who has signed, or more, then we will tell you.”
Southampton expect to have top-scorer Danny Ings in contention against Everton after his recovery from a hamstring problem.
Forward Charlie Austin, captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and defender Yan Valery have all completed their respective suspensions.