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Ralph Hasenhuttl admits it will be hard for Saints to bounce back at Liverpool

Southampton were punished for failing to make their first-half dominance count at Norwich on Saturday.


Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl appears dejected at Norwich (Joe Giddens/PA)

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl appears dejected at Norwich (Joe Giddens/PA)

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl appears dejected at Norwich (Joe Giddens/PA)

Ralph Hasenhuttl knows Southampton will need to produce a complete performance if they are to take points off Liverpool next weekend.

The Saints saw their four-match unbeaten run end on Saturday after they lost 2-1 at Norwich despite taking the lead through Che Adams’ fourth-minute effort.

Austrian Hasenhuttl was frustrated they were unable to make the most of a dominant first half and goals by Teemu Pukki and Grant Hanley consigned the visitors to a fourth Premier League loss of the campaign.

“When you don’t win, the teams behind you come closer so this is normal and we know we have a battle for the whole year,” the 54-year-old said.

“It was possible to take the three points, we had a very good start and everything was going in our direction but in the Premier League, to win games is more than only doing well for a half.

“We must step up, learn and get better in the future.”

The next opportunity for Southampton to bounce back is a trip to Anfield on Saturday to face a Liverpool side who put four past Arsenal hours after Saints’ loss at Norwich.

Jurgen Klopp’s men host Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday but Hasenhuttl does not expect the midweek clash to impact the Reds at the weekend.

Asked about the challenge of facing Liverpool, the Southampton boss admitted: “Not an easy one.

“Not a normal week? This is never a disadvantage for Liverpool, who plays two every week but they are a top team.

“We have to prepare good, find the right team for competing against them and this is what we must do.”

Southampton will assess Stuart Armstrong’s calf injury before the trip to Merseyside but could have Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond available after they both missed the defeat away to Norwich due to personal reasons.

New Canaries boss Dean Smith was pleased his half-time change had an impact in the win, with substitute Josh Sargent able to affect the contest with his energy and pressing.

The American was brought on in place of Todd Cantwell, who had been handed a first start in two months and was backed to get better by the former Aston Villa manager.

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Smith said: “I thought it was worth the risk putting Todd into the team but I just felt he was a little off it and it is understandable.

“He hasn’t trained with the group, I believe, for the last few weeks.

“Putting Sarg on, we got more legs onto the pitch, we could engage a lot higher up the pitch and we did that. I felt our eights never got to their sixes enough in the first half but when we changed it, I thought we were a much better team.”

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