After nearly two months without a home game, Claude Puel is looking forward to getting back to St Mary’s next week.
Saints haven’t played at their own ground since hosting West Ham United on February 4th, largely as a result of their progression to the EFL Cup final and other teams’ involvement in the FA Cup.
They will finally return there a week on Saturday, as they welcome south coast neighbours Bournemouth.
It is a moment that Puel, no doubt like many Southampton fans, is looking forward to, with the match kicking off a busy week that sees them also host Crystal Palace, before visiting West Bromwich Albion.
“Sometimes it’s important to play at home, because we played at Sunderland, Watford, at Wembley and now it’s important to come back and give a good response for our fans,” he said, after Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.
“It’s important in the next three games, we know this and first up of course it’s Bournemouth.”
Reflecting on the loss at Spurs, Puel took some satisfaction from how Saints responded to being 2-0 down at half-time, as they came close to earning a point.
“It was interesting after losing 2-0 to come back with a good spirit, a good intensity and to come back quickly into the game,” he said.
“But this team defends well, with a good defensive unit and it was difficult to find space.
“We lacked the good runs, the good pass and the quality with the final touches. It’s a pity because a draw would have been normal.”