(Reuters) – Southampton’s new recruit Moussa Djenepo remains sidelined with a muscle problem ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Tottenham Hotspur, manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said on Thursday.
Malian winger Djenepo has not played for Southampton since scoring the winner in a 1-0 win at Sheffield United earlier this month and he was unavailable for Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over south coast rivals Portsmouth in the League Cup.
“I think we managed the game on Tuesday very well with the injuries. Only the long-term injured players, like Moussa, are still out,” Hasenhuettl told reporters.
“We took a few new pictures and there isn’t too much to say at the moment, he is still out. We’ll take a bit more time, we don’t know how long exactly.
“He has no chance of playing against Tottenham. It’s not easy for him in the moment after a few games to wait for the next one but that’s football.”
Southampton’s win at Portsmouth was their fourth away victory in a row in all competitions and they have kept a clean sheet in every game during that run.
It was their first win over rivals Portsmouth since a 2-1 victory in the fourth round of the FA Cup 14 years ago and Hasenhuettl said the result had lifted the mood at the club, currently sitting 13th in the league standings.
“A win is good for the self-confidence of the players,” the Austrian manager said. “Tuesday was a very intense game, the atmosphere in the stadium was fantastic. It’s not easy to play there like this.
“But we know we face two very difficult games in the league. In Tottenham, to play is not easy. It’s good that we show we can do it better than against Bournemouth (against whom Southampton lost 3-1 last weekend).
“It will not be easier, but I’m sure we can have a good performance on the weekend.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)