Ralph Hasenhüttl has praised Southampton’s improvement in possession, saying his team must be patient against Newcastle at St Mary’s this evening.
Saints have often earned plaudits for their pressing game and ability to win the ball back quickly since Hasenhüttl’s arrival as manager, but a more recent trend has seen the team enjoy more possession and create more chances.
Three points tonight would see Saints hit top spot in the Premier League, and the boss believes patience will be key to breaking down a Newcastle side Saints last beat in 2016.
“This was definitely the biggest development we have made in this season so far,” Hasenhüttl said.
“We are very calm, we have good game management and we are definitely finding the different levels between the lines much better now, with much more patience.
“This patience we will definitely need on the weekend against a good, organised team.
“It’s always important that we stress them on one side, but on the other side have the patience to wait for the right moment to play deep.
“This is something of quality we’ve showed in the last games. This is the next challenge and a good one for us.
“They are definitely well organised, defending well – especially around the box – very committed in their defensive work and you don’t get a lot of space.
“I think we didn’t play that bad in the two away games we had against them so far. We could take more, but in the end we haven’t been strong enough.
“We want to change this for the weekend – this is the goal and hopefully we can do it.”