Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he has a number of injury doubts ahead of Saturday’s visit of Newcastle United.
The most serious of those involves defender Maya Yoshida, who injured his right knee in training on Tuesday with the manager expecting the Japanese international to miss the rest of the season.
Morgan Schneiderlin (psoas) and Victor Wanyama (leg) missed last weekend’s trip to Tottenham, and remain doubtful for Saturday’s game.
Kelvin Davis is still out with a long-term back issue, while Nathaniel Clyne, Steven Davis (both groin) and Jay Rodriguez (knee) have reported issues in the aftermath of last weekend’s defeat at White Hart Lane.
“In the last month we have had many injuries, and of course that is going to affect the team,” Pochettino told Saints Player this afternoon. “We’ve had many problems with injuries throughout the season.
“At the beginning of the season we signed three players. One of them, Dani Osvaldo, has had to leave and the other two have had injuries that haven’t allowed them to have the continuity that we wish they could have had. Those things affect the team.
“So I think that, with everything that has happened at and around the Club, not just injuries but all of the mid-season upheaval, these players deserve a lot more credit than they have experienced. For them to keep competing as they have is quite good.”
Victory on Saturday would see Saints leapfrog the Magpies into eighth place going into the final six games of the campaign.
And Pochettino says that is something the side is determined to achieve after a somewhat inconsistent run of form.
“How many teams in the lower half of the table would want to be in our position?” asked the manager.
“The reality of this team is that we’ve had some problems lately and the whole season has been quite demanding so that’s reduced the number of fully-fit players we have, but the motivation is always there.
“It’s clear that we are a young side are we are prone to making mistakes, but we’re going to learn from them.
“Against Tottenham, we lost the game – they didn’t win it. Now we’re looking forward to the next game and to putting that right. Having analysed our performances against Norwich and Tottenham, I want to improve on them.”