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Saints must stick to gameplan for 90 minutes to crack top 10: Hasenhuettl

(Reuters) - Southampton must learn to retain their intensity and press throughout the 90 minutes after defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers denied Saints the chance to break into the Premier League’s top 10, manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - January 18, 2020 Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl before the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs/File Photo

Southampton lost 3-2 to Wolves despite leading 2-0 at halftime and the Austrian manager said his side may have become overconfident which led to Wolves’ remarkable second half comeback.

“I think it was the first time we were 2-0 up at home so maybe there was a bit of confidence in that moment,” Hasenhuettl told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s match at Crystal Palace.

“The message in the future must be no matter if you’re 2-0 down or 2-0 up... we stick to our gameplan and press in the 90th minute, like we did against Leicester (City). This was a hit that hurt but in the end it can help us as we learn from it.

“When we want to be a top 10 team then we need to win these games. We haven’t done it so far... We have a chance now on Tuesday.”

Southampton, 13th, take on Palace who are ninth in the table and Hasenhuettl said he was aware of how well-drilled Roy Hodgson’s side are at home.

“(Palace) is always a tough opponent, we’ve drawn twice now,” Hasenhuettl said.

“They are the team with lesser possession at home so we know they defend well... waiting for counter-attacks. (They are) a very experienced team with a very experienced manager.”

Hasenhuettl said the Saints were still looking for players to sign in the January transfer window but would only look at options if they were available on permanent deals rather than short-term loans.

“The problem in the transfer window in the winter is if you sign the player and he isn’t used to the philosophy we play -- it takes one to two months until he’s on that level our players are,” he added.

“It really doesn’t make sense to loan somebody until the end of the season and he goes (back) without an option to buy. And buying immediately in the winter is not easy.

“When we have the option to buy the player in the summer then it makes sense and we are looking.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge