(Reuters) - Southampton cannot afford to get carried away by their form since the Premier League’s restart and will need to push the reset button as they brace for a stern test from Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday, manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said.
Southampton have collected 11 points in six league matches since the restart last month, following up victories against Watford and Manchester City with draws against Everton and Manchester United.
Hasenhuettl has lifted his team from the relegation zone in October up to 12th in the standings. However, he urged his side to continue improving as they target a top-10 finish.
“In football you can look at stats, but they don’t help you win games. The Manchester United result and the others have gone, we must hit the reset button and move onto the next game,” Hasenhuettl told a virtual news conference on Wednesday.
“Nobody’s interested in the previous results. We want to take as many points as possible in the remaining games. It’s important to keep up the momentum.”
Southampton cruised to a 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture earlier in the season but Hasenhuettl is expecting a different test from Graham Potter’s side.
“I really like to watch Brighton play. In possession, they’re one of the best teams in the league. They have good organisation on the ball and good decision making. The manager has done a fantastic job,” he said.
Striker Danny Ings has scored 19 league goals this season. However, Hasenhuettl believes the Englishman offers much more to the team than just a steady stream of goals.
“I never reduced him just to his goalscoring, I know that he’s working hard for the team. He’s definitely a guy who knows how to press, who knows how to help the team,” the Saints boss said.
“He’s our first defender, sometimes he’s our number 10 and sometimes he’s our goalscorer. (He) Definitely plays a big role in this squad.”
Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge