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Southampton boss Hasenhuettl considers rotating squad to beat fatigue

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By Reuters
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(Reuters) – Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said on Friday that his players were feeling the intensity of a heavy schedule and he had to decide whether to rotate his squad when they faced Newcastle United on Sunday.

The Saints beat Norwich City 2-1 on Wednesday to climb out of the relegation zone and up to 17th in the standings. The trip to Newcastle will be their third game in eight days.

“We have a few issues with the high workload,” Hasenhuettl told reporters. “I think for the weekend these players will all be able to play and it’s on me to decide if I go again with the team that invested a lot two times or if I put a few fresh players in.

“I think the substitutes in the last games also did a very good job and we were getting better when we were changing players.”

However, Saints midfielder Sofiane Boufal is still recovering from a toe injury that kept him out of the midweek win and Hasenhuettl said he would make a late call on the Moroccan’s availability.

“Boufal’s toe is still a problem with him not training. The last game he was on the bench but there was no reason to bring him in so I decided to give him the rest,” the Austrian added.

“Tomorrow he will train for the first time. I must look how he is and we must pay attention because such an injury can take a long time if you’re not careful.”

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Pravin Char)