Ralph Hasenhuttl hoping to keep Fraser Forster at Southampton

Ralph Hasenhuttl is confident Southampton can agree a contract extension for in-form goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

Forster, whose contract expires this summer, has been out of favor for much of Hasenhuttl’s tenure, including his loan to Celtic for the 2019-20 campaign.

But the 34-year-old has been an ever-present for the Saints’ last 15 Premier League games, as well as receiving a call-up from England for last month’s international friendlies with Switzerland and the Ivory Coast.

Forster was named man of the match after making a number of fine saves in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Arsenal and manager Hasenhuttl is hopeful of retaining his services beyond this season.

“Absolutely, there are many arguments to do this and I am sure that we will find with him a very good solution for the future,” said the Austrian.

“I was very happy with the way he reacted when he got the opportunity to play and I think he took the opportunity with all his effort.

“This is a very good argument for him, definitely.”

Forster was limited to just nine senior starts for Southampton over the last three seasons.

He seemed to have no future at Hampshire after Hasenhuttl allowed him to rejoin ex-Celtic on a temporary deal in the summer of 2019.

However, having regained the starting jersey on Boxing Day following an injury to Alex McCarthy, he has resurrected his South Coast career.

Forster played a pivotal role in the weekend’s win over the Gunners, producing flashy saves to deny Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe as the hosts ended a five-game winless run in the league.

The Saints hope to further boost their aspirations of finishing in the top half at managerless Burnley on Thursday night.

Under-23 coach Mike Jackson is in charge of the relegation-threatened Clarets following the surprise departure of Sean Dyche.

After analyzing the Lancashire club’s 1-1 draw at West Ham on Sunday, Hasenhuttl believes a trip to Turf Moor is now a slightly different proposition.

“It’s a little bit more difficult right now to prepare because of the new situation there,” he said.

“There are some small changes that they have made in the last game against West Ham.

“Their coach has been there for a long time and normally we have a team that is absolutely used to what they have done all the time, a very, very clear philosophy.

“And when someone like him leaves, it’s normal for some things to break a little bit and you do things a little bit differently.

“You could see that they played a little more football and tried to use some spaces a little more, the full-backs are more attacking in some moments, so they changed some smaller margins.

“But the players remain the same and also the behaviors remain the same. We’ll see what happens.”

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