Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has delivered a defiant message ahead of his side’s clash with title-chasing Liverpool on Friday night.
A win for Jurgen Klopp’s side will move them back up to top spot in the Premier League table, two points clear of rivals Manchester City who will have a game in hand.
However, being able to switch that pressure onto Pep Guardiola’s side to respond will be crucial, as they will hope to do their part and watch on as the defending champions continue to try and compete on three fronts between now and the end of the season.
It’s a very different story for the Saints who have plenty to play for too but for the wrong reasons as they sit just five points above the relegation zone.
In turn, Hasenhuttl knows that his side must go out and produce their best regardless of the opposition to give themselves a boost in the battle for safety, and while paying tribute to Liverpool, he has insisted that his players will not head onto the pitch with any fear whatsoever of what’s facing them.
“How they play is a perfect example of a physically strong team combined with the technical qualities, speed and good organisation, so you can think about why it is so hard to win against his team,” he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“This does not mean we are frightened, we are not afraid of walking out on the pitch.
“We know that we are playing at home, we know that we have the crowd behind us and they are pushing us, that’s for sure.
“Then you never know, there is a chance for us to turn the table and if we have this chance we have to be prepared for it and take something [from the game].”
Liverpool have lost just once all season in the league, and so it promises to be a tough task to try and deal a heavy title blow on them on Friday night.
Especially after their dramatic winner over Tottenham last time out, that will surely be a huge moment for Klopp and his players to give them the belief needed to go on and end their wait for a domestic title.
Hasenhuttl though sounds confident his side can spring a real surprise…