July 14, 2020 / 3:38 AM / 22 days ago

Le Tissier expects top-half finish for Southampton next season

Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Southampton - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - July 13, 2020 Southampton's Michael Obafemi celebrates scoring their second goal, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pool via REUTERS/Dave Thompson

(Reuters) - Southampton’s performances since the Premier League restart are a credit to manager Ralph Hasenhuettl and the team has the potential to finish in the top half of the table next season, club great Matt Le Tissier has said.

Southampton have lost just once since the league resumed following the COVID-19 shutdown, winning three matches and drawing twice, including a 2-2 draw at Manchester United on Monday.

“It’s professional pride, but it’s also what the manager instils in them, wants from them and demands from them,” Le Tissier, who scored 209 goals for Southampton during his 16 years at the club, said.

Hasenhuettl also guided Southampton to a 1-0 win over second-placed Manchester City earlier this month and Le Tissier said their form against the top sides showed what they could accomplish.

“When you look at what we’ve been capable of in the past few weeks — we’ve just played City at home, Manchester United away, Everton away,” he said.

“Unbeaten with five points, you look at that and think if you take that form into next season, what can we realistically achieve? From what I’ve seen, I’d expect a top-half finish.”

Southampton, who are 12th, host Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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