Monday 26 August 2019

Fit-again Shane Long ready to lead the line and bid to derail Liverpool's title hopes

Southampton's Shane Long celebrates scoring his side's winner. Photo: Getty Images
Southampton's Shane Long celebrates scoring his side's winner. Photo: Getty Images
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl. Photo: PA

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has warned his side they are not safe from relegation.

Three wins from their last four matches have lifted Saints five points clear of the relegation zone with seven matches to play.

But ahead of tonight's visit of title-challengers Liverpool, Hasenhuttl has told his players the job is far from complete.

"We know how tough it is and there are still a lot of points to get, so we have to stay focused," said the Austrian.

"There is still a long way to go and the sooner we get to 40 points the better."

Top scorer Danny Ings misses out against his parent club but Shane Long has shaken off a groin injury and should step in up front.

Hasenhuttl did his coaching badges with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp and has often been compared with the German due to their shared belief in a pressing style of football.

"It's the first time we play against a very good pressing team and the style of football I prefer," he added.

"You can see this team is one step or two steps ahead in their development.

"They have good balance and they are an organised team with a clear plan and nice to watch, also, for me.

"It will be a very interesting game for the coaches for both sides and we will have to do a lot of work with coaching the team. It is maybe a big challenge - but I like this challenge."

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