April 3 (Reuters) - Southampton manager Claude Puel wants his players to step up and contribute more goals in the absence of injured striker Manolo Gabbiadini, who was ruled out of Wednesday’s Premier League match against Crystal Palace.
Gabbiadini had scored six goals in five games since joining the club in January, but injured his groin against Tottenham Hotspur last month.
The 25-year-old missed Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Bournemouth, which marked the first time since November that Southampton have failed to score at home in the league.
“It’s important that we score goals from different areas. It is not just the work of the strikers, but the work for all,” Puel told reporters on Monday. “I think Manolo will not be available for this game, but we will see for Saturday.”
Midfielder Sofiane Boufal is also in doubt with a muscle problem.
Southampton are 10th in the league, three points above Crystal Palace, who are putting on a late charge for Premier League survival with four wins in a row including a shock 2-1 away victory at leaders Chelsea on Saturday.
“It’s important to have a good focus and concentration against a strong Palace team,” Puel said. “It’s important to take points of course because one win or one loss can do a lot of difference on the table because all the teams are close together...” (Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich)