Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is another Premier League manager who is far from happy with the busy festive fixtures.
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Saints drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace at St Mary’s on Saturday, just 48 hours after their big win away at Chelsea on Boxing Day.
“You only have one day to rest. It’s unbelievable, we couldn’t prepare anything for this game. I don’t know what this schedule is about, we had no sessions to work on anything,” Hasenhuttl said. “For this reason, I think we did a good game. Mentally and physically, what the guys did today, was really tough. We were the better team and kept trying till the last minute. I think it’s not necessary to play today. If we don’t play till Wednesday again why don’t we just play Thursday, Sunday, Wednesday. I know Saturday is a big day for football but it’s not necessary.”
Focusing on his team and their display on the pitch against Palace, Saints started slowly but recovered well after falling behind and they were unlucky not to snatch a late win to make it three on the trot.
Hasenhuttl admitted he was “not unhappy” to grab a point in an even game.
“It’s a more than deserved point. We had the much bigger chances today and it was a good save from Moussa Djenepo. We kept on believing, we knew it was a difficult game against this opponent when you’re 1-0 down because they sit deep,” Hasenhuttl said. “The subs gave us a little bit boost, particularly Moussa Djenepo on the left. Danny Ings was very calm. We could feel that we could turn the game completely after that but we’re not unhappy with the point. It was similar to the game here last season against them. I felt the equaliser was deserved.”
Saints now have a tough stretch of games coming up against Tottenham, Wolves, Leicester, Liverpool and Palace again, but they sit four points above the relegation zone at the midway point of the season and that’s a lot better than it was looking for the last few months.
With Danny Ings now on 12 goals for the season, if he stays fit and Southampton continue to keep their current form, they should start to look at the top 10 rather than the bottom three. That said, with Watford and Norwich picking up big wins in recent weeks, it is getting tight at the bottom as we head into 2020.