Hasenhuttl set to ring the changes

  • by Staff Writer
  • Friday, 3rd May 2019

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says he is considering fielding a number of fringe players when Southampton visit Stratford this weekend.

West Ham's final game of the season at the Olympic Stadium should afford Manuel Pellegrini the opportunity to field a strong side, given the return from injury of key players such as Manuel Lanzini and Aaron Cresswell in recent days.

However Hasenhuttl, whose side guaranteed Premier League survival last weekend with a 3-3 draw against rivals Bournemouth, says he is considering offering some of those players who perhaps do not feature frequently an opportunity to impress.

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"The game against West Ham gives us a chance to substitute a few players maybe if we want, players who have not played that often but have trained very hard," said Hasenhuttl, speaking in his pre-match press conference.

"There is also a responsibility that we develop as a team and put the pressure on the other guys, and now they have maybe also the chance to play.

"It's a new situation for us, with no big pressure any more for our team, but that doesn't mean that we will lean back. We want to take as many points as possible.

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"It's still about taking points and winning a game, so we cannot go there and say 'now we take it easy' and expect it will still work. The concentration now is for this game and a tough opponent."

The Saints enter Saturday's fixture against West Ham with 38 points from their 36 games played so far, having won one and drawn two of their last five fixtures.

Last weekend's draw against Bournemouth - which leaves Southampton seven points clear of the relegation zone - ensured they cannot be relegated.

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