Ralph Hasenhuttl wants Southampton to learn lessons after another defeat

Ralph Hasenhuttl knows Southampton are in for a “different game” when Manchester City visit in the FA Cup quarter-finals this weekend but challenged his squad to learn from Sunday’s loss at home to Watford.

The Saints were consigned to a third successive defeat after Cucho Hernandez hit a brace for the relegation-threatened visitors with Mohamed Elyounoussi’s first-half effort a mere consolation.

It further dented the south-coast club’s slim European prospects following losses to Aston Villa and Newcastle, which places even more significance on Sunday’s visit of City.

After struggling to turn possession into goals of late, Southampton know they will largely be without the ball for the cup tie against Pep Guardiola’s men but Hasenhuttl feels there are lessons to take from recent results.

“It will definitely be a different game than this one. We will be the ones under pressure and let’s have a look to see if we can learn something,” the Austrian said.

“We have to learn as a young team to stay cool, stay patient and to break them down. To still create chances to score.

“Our decision making (against Watford) was driven by stress and impatience, from not waiting for the right moment because of what I just said.

“This is what we are missing at the moment.”

Hasenhuttl left Armando Broja on the bench and although the nine-goal striker was introduced at the break, he struggled to make an impact.

Tino Livramento was also inconspicuous by his absence with the talented right-back a regular for Saints this season aside from a knee injury which saw him sidelined for the whole of January.

“Maybe, yes,” Hasenhuttl responded when asked if Livramento would be fit to face City.

“Tino is OK but after a long injury break he needed a break. This is why he was out.”

Watford are without a game for three weeks after this coming weekend’s scheduled meeting with Everton had to be postponed due to the Toffees’ FA Cup exploits.

Senegal attacker Ismaila Sarr is expected to return to fitness before the trip to Liverpool on April 2, but boss Roy Hodgson fears he could aggravate the issue if selected for international duty later this month.

“He is getting fitter, when I say that he still hasn’t trained with the team but I saw him doing some sort of running the other day – very controlled because it is a hamstring injury,” the 74-year-old revealed after the win at St Mary’s.

“I don’t really know when he will be passed fit and able to go out onto the field to train properly but there is a big risk that will happen before Senegal call him and ask him to meet up.

“If they do then we are obliged to let him go which is another minor disappointment because we would have liked to have him with us but we are not going to cheat. If he is fit, we will tell them he is fit and it will be up to them to decide whether they call him up.

“It would be a bit risky for us. If he stays with us, we can control his training but if he goes to his national team, the risk of him aggravating the injury is a bit greater than if he was with us.”

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