Southampton Ralph Hasenhuttl has urged each member of his squad to “never stop believing” that they could quickly be thrust into first-team action. Hasenhuttl has named a settled side in recent weeks, with Saints unbeaten in their past five matches, winning four. Eight of the 11 who kicked off in Sunday’s win at Aston Villa have started in all seven of Saints’ Premier League matches so far this term. However, three of those, Ryan Bertrand (hamstring), Jan Bednarek (head) and Danny Ings (knee), were all forced off during the 4-3 victory at Villa Park due to injury.
Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “It’s different. Sometimes it’s very hard because when you don’t have good results then they expect more to play, because they expect you to change the team. When you are always winning I think the roles are relatively clear, nobody is coming and thinking about ‘now I get the chance to play’. But you should never stop believing that the chance is coming sooner than you think, not only because of injuries but also because of being stronger than the opponent in the (training) session. I think if I have shown one thing in the time I’m here it’s that form is more important than talent. So if you show up and you are in a good situation and you score all the time, or you do fantastic things in the session, you can be sure that we see it and that you get seen. In the end, that helps you massively to make a step in the team. The worst thing you can do is if you don’t play and you also train worse. This is not a good combination and then the chance is definitely not there to step into the team. We don’t have that many games that we have to change and bring fresh players in. This is a good thing at the moment. hen it helps definitely if you have a squad that has automatism. We lost two (Moussa Djenepo and Stuart Armstrong) before playing Chelsea, so we had two new ones (Nathan Redmond and Theo Walcott). Now Stuey is coming back, so we had a few changes, especially in the number 10 position in the last weeks, but the rest was settled.”
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