Saints manager Ronald Koeman revealed his players asked to give up their day off this week – so that they could undergo extra training ahead of Saturday’s game against QPR.

The squad were due to have a free day on Wednesday, but team captain Jose Fonte approached Koeman after Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Arsenal in the Capital One Cup and said they would like to come in the next morning to improve their chances of earning another victory this weekend.

Koeman said: “The players showed a great ambition because we planned last Wednesday as a day off after the Tuesday and Jose Fonte said to me ‘Boss, we would like to come to train tomorrow.’ “I said ‘But you have a day off – I’ve planned a lot of things with my wife!

“But we changed it and we had a recovering session.

“I never had that – a team, a squad say ‘No day off’ and that means a lot for me, that means a lot about the ambition of the players.

“We spoke to each other and said ‘Ok, if you win against Queens Park then you get that day off for next week, and we hope to win on Saturday.”