SAINTS manager Ralph Hasenhuttl insists his side will show “a good balance of courage and respect” to Manchester City on Saturday, adding: “You can play a perfect game and even then lose.”
His side face a tough test in search of a first Premier League win of the season traveling to the Etihad Stadium — where the hosts have won their last three league games 5-0 in a row.
They managed to hit six against Hasenhuttl’s former side Red Bull Leipzig on Wednesday, although they showed some defensive fragility that conceded three to a Christopher Nkunku hat trick.
The hosts are looking to charge city rivals Manchester United at the top of the table and expect to pick up maximum points, but the reward has added value for Saints who could fight at the foot of too much of the campaign.
Hasenhuttl has revealed the mentality that he believes Saints will have to adopt by participating in the competition as they appear to build on three moves in a row that contain well-fought points against the Red Devils and one in the form of West Him.
Hasenhuttl said before the match: “We always try to give our opponents a moment where they have to worry about us.
“But in the end, it not only helps to push hard, it also does not help to keep being around the box because we have played this too.
We have to be tight to take anything, yes, but I also think they have 20 shots on goal in this match (against Leipzig).
“It is difficult to defend. We have seen different ways the teams play against and everyone tried something different, but very often City also had the victory in the end.
“You can play a perfect game, and even then you lose because of the individual quality, and they have the right moments to end the game.
“But we do not think like that, we always believe in ourselves for what we do, and go there with a good balance of bravery, but also a good balance in respect and in the end do what we can.”
City have won each of their last three Premier League games following a surprise 1-0 defeat to Spurs on the opening day of the season.
Their Champions League conquest opened with a little bit of horror, but what was truly a relatively pleasant competition as Ferran Torres had a legitimate goal ruled out offside at a crucial point that would have killed the game and made it 5- 2 .
Asked what the Saints can learn from watching that match, Hasenhuttl added: “You see nothing that you do not know until now.
“You can see that when the pressing is not 100% perfect, they find a way through due to their high ball speed, very good departures and refilling of spaces.
“When you’re too man-oriented, it does not work, when you are not brave enough, it does not work, when you are half a second late, they pop you. So if you do not do it perfectly, better do not, because it does not work.
“If you are able to do that, you may still cause some issues and issues, we have shown this before.”