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Hasenhuttl: 'Saints not safe yet'

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Ralph Hasenhuttl

Ralph Hasenhuttl

PA

Shane Long

Shane Long

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Ralph Hasenhuttl

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has warned his side they are not safe from relegation.

Three wins from their last four matches have lifted Saints five points clear of the relegation zone with seven matches to play.

But ahead of Friday night's visit of title-challengers Liverpool, Hasenhuttl has told his players the job is far from complete.

"We know how tough it is and there are still a lot of points to get, so we have to stay focused," said the Austrian.

"There is still a long way to go and the sooner we get to 40 points the better."

Top scorer Danny Ings misses out against his parent club but Shane Long has shaken off a groin injury and should step in up front.

Hasenhuttl did his coaching badges with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp and has often been compared with the German due to their shared belief in a pressing style of football.

"It's the first time we play against a very good pressing team and the style of football I prefer," he added.

"You can see this team is one step or two steps ahead in their development. They have good balance and they are an organised team with a clear plan and nice to watch, also, for me.

"It will be a very interesting game for the coaches for both sides and we will have to do a lot of work with coaching the team.

"It is maybe a big challenge - but I like this challenge. Do they have any weaknesses? Not so many, to be honest. How they play is a perfect example of a physically strong team combined with technical qualities, speed and good organisation.

"You can see why it's so difficult to win against this team, and only Manchester City have done it so far.

"But we are not frightened about this game or walking out on the pitch at the stadium because we have the crowd behind us and pushing us.

"Suddenly there is a chance to turn the tables in the game and we have to be prepared and have the chance to take something."