Saints boss Ralph Hasenhüttl has spoken to the media ahead of the trip to Villa Park on Sunday. Read more about what he had to say ahead of our next Premier League fixture...
On Team News...
“All three (Salisu, Djenepo, Smallbone) are all back in team sessions so far, not all back fit to play but all three are in a good way. This weekend is too early but they are in a good way.”
On Theo Walcott...
“We are happy to hear he likes it here and that he enjoys what we are doing here. I think it is the same as I see on the pitch, you get a feeling of how happy a player is to be here.
“I’m happy he is available again at the weekend and it is important that he comes into the team and learns quickly from the new stuff we try to implement. Lets see how he can show how he helps us and I’m very sure he will.”
On Aston Villa...
“Villa have made some very good steps forward in the summer with a few good signings but are also better organised. They are a team that are definitely doing well and had a fantastic start to the season.
“They lose their first game but it was tough as they had a few good chances too at the beginning. They are a tough opponent and it’s definitely a tough game for us.
“Confidence is a word that makes you lean back. Yes we are self confident, we know how tough it will be at the weekend. We have a good chance to get something at Villa if we play there like we did last season.
“They are closing down better, they are more aggressive on the jump and you now don’t have much time to attack any space. In transition they have the best quality as players can carry the ball and speed up the game.
“You have to have a good counter press and defence otherwise it is difficult against this opponent. I think every part of our game must be on the highest level because otherwise it’s not possible to win there.”
On Oriol Romeu...
“I don’t think he needs this pressure from another number 6 (Ibrahima Diallo) because at the end of last season when Pierre (Emile Hojbjerg) was still here, he deserved to play because he came back from lockdown fitter, was very sharp and tried to show up.
“That’s why he grabbed his chances with both hands and then there was no reason to sub him anymore. It’s the reason Pierre was on the bench because Romeu was simply better.”
On Partnership of Ryan Bertrand and Nathan Redmond...
“I think especially in our shape because of the 442 you can speak about couples everywhere. Most of the time, players think that he will support me because he is closest to me and yeh it is a good relationship.
“It’s definitely not a bad thing to have a good relationship with the guy in front of you. It’s not 100% necessary but it helps.
“We see in other positions like on the right side with Stuie (Armstrong) and Kyle (Walker-Peters) then Ingsy (Danny Ings) and Che (Adams) up front and Prowsey (James Ward-Prowse) and Oriol (Romeu) in the middle, we have these couples.
“Maybe there is more communication between the two guys you mentioned than the rest of the team and this is good as they know each other very well.”
ralph Hasenhüttlwe want to build up from the level we are at because everything isn't perfect
On Start to the season...
It’s important you grab points as soon as possible. After the first two games it didn’t look like it was going to be a better start than last season but it was good we found our winning trait as quick as possible.
“In the end, it’s not important to have points at the beginning as it’s important to have consistency in your performances so you can compete against others. We now have belief in what we are doing.
“The last four games have been really good, especially the last one which is definitely not one of our worst. It was with the ball and without very good but it is now the level we want to stay at and not fall back to old behaviours.
“We want to build up from the level we are at now because everything isn’t perfect so new challenges will come with tough fixtures and you must be able to reach this highest level.”
On three clean sheets in last four games...
Yes this is always good. To be honest this is the key of winning and getting points if you keep clean sheets. There are different ways to do it.
“In the last game especially we had very good game management also in possession so it’s not just about defending but in this moment we have a good mixture of when we have the ball not taking too much risk but also letting the opponent run when necessary.
“This is a new quality I think which we have developed in the last three or four months. We can still get better and in the end a combination of everything leads to a clean sheet and scoring when we can.”
On away form since arrival...
“The way we want to play is always active and not passive. Sometimes this is easier in away games than home games. Maybe it’s surprising for the opponent maybe, I don’t know.
“It’s good I don’t have to find the answer to this I only have to deliver and the statistics you can discuss why as it’s not important to me. What’s important is that we take the points and the way we take the points is often deserved.
“The belief also as you saw against Chelsea when we were twice behind and fight back because we believe it what we are doing. We are convinced that this is how to be successful.”
On approach to games...
“You can be sure we go out with a lot of self confidence and belief in what we are doing. We are very convinced in what we do. We like it when we are a little bit below the radar as then we can surprise people when we are playing well.
“There’s more details about game plan, behaviours with or without the ball, finding solutions and this is the focus for every week. Our whole concentration goes on this part. In general this is a better way to think they whether our opponent thinks we are strong or not.”