(Reuters) - Southampton winger Moussa Djenepo will not play in Friday’s Premier League clash against Bournemouth due to a recurring muscle injury but manager Ralph Hasenhuettl is optimistic about Nathan Redmond’s return from injury.
Redmond has not played since damaging his ankle last month and Hasenhuettl hopes he can fill in for Djenepo, who scored the winner against Sheffield United last weekend.
“Nathan could train this week with the team,” Hasenhuettl told reporters on Thursday. “This is a good message, how far he is. If he really can play tomorrow, I haven’t decided so far but it’s good he’s back because Moussa is out. He cannot play.
“It’s the same muscle. At the beginning of the week he (Djenepo) was OK and yesterday felt it a little bit more so we gave him a little break.
“I don’t know if I can grab Nathan for his position. I haven’t decided so far but we have one session in the morning and then I will decide.”
A win for either side would move them up to provisional third in the standings after six games.
While Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said he was excited by the added incentive of moving up the table with a win over a fellow south-coast club, Hasenhuettl said it was too early to judge a team’s progress.
“I don’t care about the table at the moment,” Hasenhuettl said. “I think you can’t really say something about the table. If you’ve played one time against every opponent then you can say, ‘OK we did it good in the first half of the season’ or not.
“But before, when you win twice you are top three or four and when you lose twice you are in the relegation zone. So it doesn’t really make sense to watch the table too much at the moment.”
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond