Saints are sweating on how long they will be without strike duo Danny Ings and Shane Long.

Ings felt his hamstring in the warm-up before the game against Watford and had to be subbed after struggling with it.

Long is facing a possible operation on his ankle after pulling up in training on Friday.

Saints boss Mark Hughes said: “Danny unfortunately overstretched in the warm up and we weren’t sure whether he was going to start the game and he wanted to see if he could have an impact for us.

“Clearly he was struggling and couldn’t get round the pitch and he needed to come off.

“That was on the back of losing Shane Long yesterday and it looks like he might need a small procedure on his ankle to address that problem he’s had for some time now.

“Losing two main line strikes who probably would have played a part was tough to take.

“I thought the guys who came in were excellent.

“Gabbiadini on the left hand side not withstanding the goal he got was outstanding. I think he’s a good option there and that’s his best position being able to come late into the box and at a different angle and pace.

“He will always have that goalscoring instinct he has retained.

“I was pleased with his performance as I was with the majority of guys.”

When asked how long Ings would be out he added: “It might just be an overextension of the knee and a few fibres behind the knee. Let’s hope it just settles down and we keep our fingers crossed it’s not a hamstring.”

Of Long he added: “If he does have the procedure, and it’s not confirmed as yet, it could be a little bit of washout to free out the ankle. That would be two weeks maybe.

“If it’s a little bit more significant it could be four-six weeks.”