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Southampton boss reflects on early season struggles as Gavin Bazunu gets set for his Man City return

Gavin Bazunu Liverpool

Ralph Hasenhuttl has spoken.

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has claimed that his young side ‘have to adapt’ to the demands of Premier League football, as questions surrounding his future at the club mount.

Despite picking a win against Chelsea during the early part of the season, the Saints have struggled for form and consistency.

However, they have been able to blood a number of young players through the ranks – none more so that Gavin Bazunu who has established himself as first-choice at St Mary’s.

And while there have been some encouraging performances, Hasenhuttl is now feeling the heat as manager of the club.

“An intense Premier League game for young players, they have to get adapted to it…”

With the likes of Bazunu now establishing himself as a Premier League regular, the Saints are winless in their last three outings, losing all of which.

And speaking ahead of their daunting Premier League visit to the Etihad Stadium this weekend, Hasenhuttl admitted that his side have to adapt to the rigorous of top-flight football quickly.

“It definitely hurts us that we are missing some injured young players,” he explained. “They have qualities, and in the end this is something that we see… An intense Premier League game for young players, they have to get adapted to it.

“[There are] some problems with fitness, because this is a different level of intensity when you play in the Premier League.

“But this is something that we have to learn, and this is something that doesn’t just come from one day to another.”

Gavin Bazunu.

For Bazunu however, he has caught the eye at times in his debut Premier League season, but has also borne the brunt of some criticism thus far.

However, he has been defended by his manager who stressed that he ‘likes‘ what his first-choice is doing between the sticks.

Southampton return to Premier League on Saturday afternoon against Man City, with kick-off scheduled for 3pm.

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