With a break in the fixture list ahead of Southampton’s next Premier League clash against Arsenal, whilst it’s not the best timed in the eyes of a number of fans, the first team squad are set for a warm weather training camp out in Tenerife for a few days.
Not ideal on a perception front following the shambolic defeat to Cardiff City last weekend, but getting the group away means that manager Ralph Hasenhuttl can keep the focused purely on defensive improvements as we look to lift ourselves out of the relegation zone again and as long as the players take things on board, that will be a benefit to us.
Speaking to the Daily Echo to discuss the trip, Cardiff and the massive frustration and disappointment he felt having seen us blow a lead twice and drop points against Burnley and latterly Cardiff, the Austrian gaffer insisted the time away would be spent on working on defence.
“For two weeks we have this result in our mind and that is the most horrible situation you can imagine. We must do everything to have clean sheets. I tell them every week. Because we can score and always have chances, we have the quality to win games. But it’s not possible if you always need two or three goals to win a game. That’s the focus on next week, I can guarantee you. I will also make a few changes to the defence, that’s for sure. I don’t want to make a drama but we have to be very, very honest. You can be sure that I will be very, very honest with my guys. Because otherwise I can’t look in the mirror and say I did everything to keep them in the Premier League. That would be very tough.”
Cardiff was our first defeat since the turn of the year, and Hasenhuttl admitted it was the way we lost it that irked him the most because it was ‘stupid, absolutely stupid’ from our point of view.
If we can come back better drilled and refreshed from the trip, well, it’s over to the players to show it was money and time well spent.