Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl had already highlighted this weekend’s clash with Bournemouth as the game in which he wanted to see the players take the ‘last step’ in our battle against relegation this year, and in Thursday afternoon’s press conference he restated the point.
Despite only taking a point from the Watford clash in midweek when we deservedly wanted all three, it does mean a six point gap to Cardiff City in the Premier League table and with only three matches remaining in the 2018/19 campaign, victory on Saturday at St Mary’s Stadium books our place in the top flight for next year.
Speaking to Sky Sports Hasenhuttl was positive that the players would be ‘very motivated’ to take the win this weekend, especially given the opposition on the day.
“I know that it’s something like a derby against Bournemouth on the south coast, because we are not far away from each other and it’s a special game. For us, it’s mainly a special game because we make the last step and we are very, very motivated for this game. To do the last step in front of our crowd, that’s exactly what we wanted to have three games before the end – and now is the chance and we are very motivated.”
With Southampton taking 28 of our 37 points so far since the Austrian walked through the door, his impact can’t be argued with and if we can make relegation mathematically impossible this weekend it will lead to a far more comfortable end to the season where the summer has to focus on improvements.