(Reuters) – Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl has issued a rallying cry to the squad and the club’s supporters to put up a united front when they play Leicester City at home in the Premier League on Friday.
Southampton are 17th in the standings, above the relegation zone due to a healthier goal difference, and have picked up only one point in their last four games.
The Saints are also yet to win at home this season with three defeats from four games and Hasenhuettl said a show of solidarity would be key when they welcome third-placed Leicester to St Mary’s Stadium.
“This period of three games without a point was a tough one and we must be clear that it is time for a win at home,” Hasenhuettl told reporters on Thursday.
“It’s time for our supporters… for the club as a whole to show up and show we are committed, that we are putting the best atmosphere we have on the pitch and also in the stands.
“If we are working together then it must be difficult for an opponent to get something in our stadium.”
Despite sitting third, Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers played down their title credentials on Wednesday but Hasenhuettl said they deserved to be high up the table after doing a “lot of things right”.
“They have fantastic players in the team and it is not a coincidence for me that they are that high in the table,” he added.
“We know that it is a tough opponent. When you are in that position after nine rounds, it is not a coincidence.”
Injured winger Moussa Djenepo is back in training after recovering from a muscle injury that sidelined him for more than a month but Hasenhuettl confirmed the close season recruit would not be involved against Leicester.
Defender Cedric Soares, who has also missed a month nursing a calf injury, will not be available either.
“We cannot count on Moussa or Cedric at the moment,” the Austrian manager said. “Moussa is back on the pitch but for a game it’s too early. But I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I hope that in one or two weeks we can count on him again. We don’t want to take any risks with him because the injury is complicated.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)