Southampton manager Ronald Koeman says his in-form side will have benefitted from the two-week break leading into Saturday’s visit of Chelsea.
Having been eliminated from The Emirates FA Cup at the third-round stage, Saints were without a fixture when round five took place last weekend.
But Koeman is confident that the momentum generated by a run of six unbeaten games – taking his side up to sixth in the Barclays Premier League table – will not be affected by the break.
“I think it (the break) is a good one, because we've played a lot,” the manager said in his pre-match interview with youtube.com/southamptonfc.
“It gave us time to recover and to prepare well for Chelsea.
“Everybody had some days off, and now we are preparing this week with good training sessions to prepare the best way for the Chelsea game.
“You know the schedule of the season and that you get a weekend off if you go out The FA Cup. We took it and it was good to have it but, of course, we like to play football.
“On one side, to have a chance to relax is okay but of course, from last Monday onwards, we are preparing for the game this Saturday very seriously.
“We've had good sessions and we have to be prepared because Chelsea is running back – they look strong and are full of confidence, so it's a tough one.”