Hojbjerg urges immediate response

Ralph Hasenhuttl says Southampton are keen to show how important Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is to the team by tying him down to an improved contract.

Midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg insists Southampton’s players must respond to their humiliating defeat to Leicester and make sure it never happens again.

Saints succumbed to a 9-0 home loss to the Foxes on Friday evening in a game that saw both Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez score a hat-trick for the visitors.

The south-coast outfit sit in the bottom three and it looks a long road ahead for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men during the remainder of the campaign.

Many of the home support had long gone when the ninth goal went in and it was a chastening night for Southampton’s stars in the pouring rain, and Hojbjerg has made it clear that he and his team-mates need to show just how contrite they are in their next display.

“If there is one saying it’s, ‘Tough periods make tough people’,” he told the Southern Daily Echo. “I can try and say something, but it won’t change anything. I don’t want to speak, I want to show by action.”

The last thing that the St Mary’s outfit would want is a clash with champions Manchester City but they have got to face Pep Guardiola’s men twice in four days – both times away from home.

Tuesday sees a trip to the Etihad Stadium for an EFL Cup fourth-round encounter before the beleaguered squad will make the same trip on Saturday in the top flight.

The first-team players and coaching staff have decided to donate one day’s wages to the Saints Foundation after the debacle but it remains to be seen if that holds any sway with the fans after the City double-header.

It is likely that Guardiola will rest some players for Tuesday’s match but the hosts will still be strong, with world-class players throughout the club.

Defeat may be almost inevitable but the travelling fans will just want a response.