Belfast Telegraph

Saints seeking home comforts from Chelsea clash – Hasenhuttl

Southampton have not won a home league game since April.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton have gone five games without a home win (Martin Rickett/PA)
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton have gone five games without a home win (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Ed Elliot, PA

Ralph Hasenhuttl has demanded Southampton’s players raise their game for the visit of Chelsea in an attempt to end the club’s considerable wait for a home win.

Saints have reserved some their finest performances under the Austrian for the Premier League’s bigger sides, including beating Arsenal and Tottenham last season.

However, the south coast club have not enjoyed success at St Mary’s since seeing off Wolves in mid-April.

Saints boss Hasenhuttl has urged his squad to replicate previous impressive displays against the division’s top teams in order to end that streak when they face Frank Lampard’s Blues on Sunday.

“At home we haven’t won so far (this season). It wasn’t the easiest schedule we had against Liverpool, Man United and Bournemouth – the Bournemouth game was the one where we had the biggest chance maybe to take something,” said Hasenhuttl.

“Every game is very difficult in the Premier League and on Sunday we have a strong opponent but very often we show our best performance against the really strong teams. This is what I demand from my guys on Sunday.

“We need a good spirit and a good mentality and to fight for the first minute.

“The first half will be very intense and can sometimes be a bit wild because they play very quick in front and us too and it can be a bit unorganised.

“Then you have to go in the duels and be very strong and aggressive.”

Southampton battled to a goalless stalemate at Stamford Bridge in January.

They have won just one of the previous 13 meetings between the clubs, a 3-1 victory in west London in October 2015.

“I know what our record is against Chelsea and it’s a very, very strong team,” added Hasenhuttl.

“It’s a team that is young, hungry, committed, with a good spirit so if you want to get something you really have to come very close to the highest level you can perform, I think.

“This is the goal for us on Sunday.

“It’s a team that is very, very high quality in every position, a lot of young players in the team and I think it’s not a coincidence that they won the last three games (in all competitions) so they are in good shape.”

PA

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