Ronald Koeman has challenged his Southampton stars to win their next three home game to refrain from being dragged into a Premier League relegation battle.
Saints boss Koeman has challenged his St Mary’s squad to seize on three home matches, all of which are within the next seven days, in quick succession to kick-start their campaign.
Southampton host Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, before they take on Watford on Wednesday night and West Brom the following weekend in Premier League action.
The Dutchman admitted he will throw his front-line stars into action in all three contests in a bid to boost his side’s momentum.
“We have a big week coming up at home, that’s true,” said Koeman.
“Three times at home, and we need wins, because if not it will be a difficult end to the season.
“Because then we would be close to the bottom teams. We have to be realistic in that we need points. We are not in a situation to make big changes.
“I don’t believe in rotation in football. We’ve got to get results.”
Southampton registered their highest-ever Premier League finish of seventh under Koeman last term, but have failed to reprise that form this term.
The stunning 4-0 home win over Arsenal on Boxing Day remains Saints’ sole win in nine matches, a miserable run that Koeman still intends on reversing.
Palace will arrive at St Mary’s still seeking to extend their impressive form on the road from 2015 that led to 11 victories away from Selhurst Park.
Koeman refuses to change his side’s game plan to try to contain Palace’s pacy attack however, and despite his insistence Saints dominated territory and possession in defeats at West Ham and Norwich.
“We always play like the home team, even when we play away,” said Koeman.
“We played West Ham and we dominated almost all of the game.
“Then we played Norwich and had almost 60 per cent possession.
“But it’s still all about what you make out of that possession. I’m not crazy about more possession than our opponent because that’s not how you win the game.
“That’s how we like to play football, but we have to create more, we need to have more balance in those positions.”