Southampton striker Danny Ings will miss the clash against Manchester United on Saturday evening, while Ryan Bertrand is a major doubt as well.
Saints boss Mark Hughes hasn’t had a lot of luck with injuries this term and with the pressure growing, and rumours of him being replaced at St Mary’s Stadium getting louder, he could have done without two key players being absent.
Southampton have just one win in their 13 Premier League matches this season, and exited the Carabao Cup on penalties in midweek when a run-in with VAR went against them, and it is vital they pick up a victory soon, for their own peace of mind as much as the future of their manager.
The home form of the Saints has been a concern for far too long, and once again they are approaching Christmas without a win in front of their own fans to their name.
Those Southampton supporters would have been hoping it might come against a disillusioned looking Manchester United side on Saturday, but the news that Ings will miss the game is a big blow.
Saints manager Hughes confirmed that the striker would remain out of the side for this match at least, when he spoke to the media ahead of the contest.
“We’re still missing Danny unfortunately, who hasn’t been on the grass yet. We’d hoped to get him back at some point this week but it hasn’t been possible.” The official Southampton website quote him as saying.
“He had a slight setback, nothing too great, and he wasn’t quite ready so we’ve given him a little bit more time.”
Hughes also confirmed the problem with Southampton left-back Bertrand, and gave an update on his fitness ahead of the Red Devils clash.
“Ryan Bertrand is struggling a little bit as he’s got an issue with his back that has flared up again. We’ve managed it in the past but it’s giving him a bit of anxiety at the moment so he hasn’t trained for a number of days.
“We’re hopeful we can get him out training tomorrow but he’s a little bit of a doubt. If he misses this game then we hope we’ll have him available for Wednesday.”
Both managers go into the match under pressure, but were Southampton to suffer another defeat, the Saints board could be forced to act, so this is one Hughes can ill afford to lose.