'Overload us with emotions' - Southampton receive triple boost for Leeds United clash as boss provides Danny Ings update
SOUTHAMPTON boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has received a double fitness boost in time for Tuesday evening's hosting of Leeds United, which will also see the return of fans.
The Saints will be able to welcome back 8,000 fans to St Mary's as the country takes its latest step towards returning to normality in the ongoing fight against coronavirus.
Southampton have also received a double fillip on the injury front with both Jan Bednarek and Oriol Romeu back in first-team training.
Romeu picked up an ankle injury in February's 3-0 loss against Leeds at Elland Road whilst Bednarek injured his heel in this month's 3-1 victory at home to Crystal Palace.
Ryan Bertrand and Will Smallbone remain out longer term.
"Oriol has an opportunity to play," said Hasenhuttl at his pre-match press conference, as quoted by southamptonfc.com
"We must handle it carefully but I'd like to have him in the squad, even on the bench.
"We must have a look at how his body reacts after training today, then we can make a decision.
"Jan Bednarek has no problems anymore with his heel. He trained yesterday and is training today. He will be in the squad, yes.
“For Ori maybe it’s a little too early to come back into the team, but maybe on the bench."
Hasenhuttl also provided an update over striker Danny Ings who was taken off in the 58th minute of Saturday's 3-1 win at home to Fulham and replaced by Nathan Tella who scored two minutes later. Hasenhuttl said the decision to take off Ings was only precautionary.
He explained: “We must be careful after a long injury coming back is always difficult and we always have to pay attention because we don’t want to risk anything."
Reflecting on the prospect of having 8,000 fans in the St Mary's stands, Hasenhuttl told Sky Sports: "There is no question that football is nothing without fans and it was too long now missing them.
"We are really absolutely happy that we get 8,000 now. It must be an amazing atmosphere tomorrow I think because 8,000 is a huge number.
"I think last time we had 2,000 and it was also feeling very good so 8,000 will be massive for us and a good first step to overload us with emotions.
"This is a special moment for every player I think and especially when you start with a home game, I think it can definitely push you."
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Thank you Laura Collins