Ralph Hasenhuttl confident Southampton can maintain impressive form

Ralph Hasenhuttl has insisted Southampton can sustain their strong start to the Premier League season.

Saints sealed their seventh win in 12 games this term, cruising to a 3-0 victory over struggling Sheffield United at St Mary’s.

Che Adams, Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond found the net as Saints thumped Chris Wilder’s Blades, moving third in the table, at least temporarily.

Saints will make the trip to Arsenal on Wednesday before hosting Manchester City on Saturday – and boss Hasenhuttl cannot wait for two fixtures he considers acid tests for his side.

“I recognise the steps we have made, this is very obvious in every part of our game, and it’s not one part we’re looking for,” said Hasenhuttl.

“Even set-pieces are getting better and better. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t continue what we’re doing at this moment.

“We know every game is tough but as long as I see the guys are hungry, the mentality has changed completely at this club. There’s no reason, for me, why we shouldn’t keep playing like this.

“We’ve got two big games now against Arsenal and Manchester City. And we need these games to see how good we are, to see how competitive we are.

Stuart Armstrong effort deflected in
Stuart Armstrong effort deflected in

“It’s not a coincidence that we are now very calm on the ball, we’ve tried to develop this game, and create so many solutions on the ball.

“This is a good way of playing football against every opponent. So there’s no reason why we shouldn’t keep going this way.”

Saints bossed the game throughout and ultimately always appeared on course for victory.

Hasenhuttl hailed a hard-fought win, and then paid tribute to the returning fans, with 2,000 back inside St Mary’s.

“It was a job very well done I think, it was not as easy as it looked, especially against a team that had nothing to lose and sits very deep,” he said.

“In the past we’ve struggled against such opponents, but now we have more solutions on the ball.

“When you see us at the moment we have not so many weaknesses in our game.

“There’s a significant raising of quality we see every week. So it’s not a coincidence that we won in the end.

“It couldn’t be better to have the fans back today, to be honest. It was very emotional, you can celebrate with them when for months we haven’t seen them.

“You could feel how much they enjoyed it, and watching us play good football.

“Hopefully we’ll come through this very tough time and more and more people should come to see us play.”

The Blades have now become the first Premier League team since QPR in 2012 to fail to win in their first 12 matches, but boss Wilder remains convinced of his quest to reverse that slump.

Nathan Redmond, centre, rounded off the scoring for Saints
Nathan Redmond, centre, rounded off the scoring for Saints

Wilder has been given the backing of the club’s owners this week, but he insisted he will just keep on grafting away.

“Whatever the owner needs to say that’s down to him, I’ll respect that,” said Wilder.

“I get on with my job, I get up in the morning, have a shower, come in bright and do my work to the best of my ability. And that’s what we all do.

“They were the better side today. You can’t afford to make that mistake for the first goal and when an opportunity comes you have to take it and we didn’t.

“Both those things in the first half set it up for a really difficult afternoon for us.”