Saints struggling under pressure to perform at St Mary’s, says boss Hasenhuttl
Ralph Hasenhuttl believes the pressure of performing at home is getting to Southampton after Burnley became the latest side to leave St Mary’s all three points.
Danny Ings’ 15th Premier League goal this season counted for nothing after efforts by Ashley Westwood and Matej Vydra handed the Clarets a 2-1 victory on Saturday.
Southampton have only won 11 points at home this term – the fewest of any team in the top flight – and Liverpool, Bournemouth, Chelsea, Leicester, Everton, West Ham and Wolves have also all triumphed at St Mary’s.
“You know at the moment it is sometimes a little bit difficult to play at home, because against Burnley everybody expects we are three up after 10 minutes and it is a little bit hard for us to show this,” manager Hasenhuttl said.
“I think this is something, the pressure, that guys are not used to…because in away games nobody expects anything from us, so it is easier to play them at the moment for us.
“Maybe that is the reason we perform better in the away game, but that cannot be an argument in the future.
“We must come to the level, no matter if we are away or home, to have a good performance.
“It helps massively if you go in the lead. We didn’t do it. After two minutes we are one down and against this opponent it is not easy.
“The reaction then was good and the team showed they can handle this pressure, but we must still be a better footballing team.”
Kyle Walker-Peters made his Southampton debut after signing on loan from Tottenham last month and played 73 minutes before he was replaced by Michael Obafemi.
Hasenhuttl said: “I think it is clear to see he still needs time to adapt to our game. This is normal. It is not easy when you step into our game. We have different things we demand and it will take time I feel.”
Burnley boss Sean Dyche was thrilled to see his players extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to four games and register back-to-back away wins following their victory at Old Trafford.
Their 3-0 defeat at Chelsea on January 11 was the club’s seventh loss from nine league games, but since then they have picked up 10 points from a possible 12.
Dyche said: “We had a tough run and there was a lot of noise beginning, but the group never disbanded and the group were together.
“They were like, ‘We’re ready and we’ll take it on’, and I think that is another powerful thing about our group.”
A negative from the south coast trip was a hamstring injury for top-scorer Chris Wood, but Dyche attempted to ease any fears it could be a serious problem.
The 48-year-old sai: “He has gone off quick and I think he has felt it and went down quick, so not one where you are sprinting through and it goes. We’ll have to wait and see.”