Despite a wobble in more recent form for Southampton, well back to back draws and a defeat, we, unfortunately, find ourselves back in the relegation places but there is only a point gap to safety.
With a small break in the fixture list, Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhuttl recently took the group away for some warm weather training and no doubt some serious defensive training given how we’ve conceded late goals of late, and with all eyes now looking ahead to our trip this coming Sunday to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal, not only will we see if that defensive work had a reward, we’ll also see if lightning can strike twice and we can cause the kind of upset we did back in December.
Speaking to the Daily Echo as buildup to the game continues, Hasenhuttl spoke about the importance, in his eyes, of getting even more from centre-half Jan Bednarek.
With the 22-year-old obviously not being in former manager Mark Hughes’ good books given his lack of game time, he was one of the first changes Hasenhuttl made and he continues to expect more from the Polish international.
“I’ve seen him from the first day as a really good player. From the first training situation I had the feeling he could give us much more. From the moment I came the trust I put in him he’s paid back every minute he’s played. He’s been amazing. The saves he’s made sometimes have helped us to get a lot of points. I’ve been thinking the positives and deficits every player has, and I haven’t found a lot of deficits in his game. That shows me how well he’s done until now.”
Hasenhuttl also referenced the recent growth of James Ward-Prowse, pointing out that in the beginning he wasn’t seeing what he wanted, but after a couple of weeks and an open meeting, JWP began giving him what he wanted and he’s earned his place in the side.
Sometimes that’s just ‘football’ when it comes to players making their mark.
Which is one way of him getting around the question as to why Bednarek wasn’t first choice previously.