Mark Hughes revealed that Saints could be without Danny Ings and Ryan Bertrand for Saturday’s game against Manchester United.

Ings picked up a hamstring injury in the goalless draw with Watford and missed the following matches with Fulham and Leicester.

And Hughes admitted it’s unlikely he’ll return in time for this weekend.

He said: “We are still missing Danny [Ings] unfortunately.

“He hasn’t been on the grass yet. We hoped to get him back, but it hasn’t been possible. He had a slight setback, nothing major but we are waiting to get him ready.

“We are hoping he will be back for next week and we are being careful with him, so he comes back fit and sound for the games to the new year.”

Daily Echo:

Ryan Bertrand in action for Saints

Saints were dealt another setback ahead of Saturday’s game when Hughes brought Bertrand’s fitness struggles to light.

The defender missed the Fulham game through suspension and was replaced by Matt Targett.

It was expected he would make his return against Leicester, but Saints’ captain wasn’t included in the matchday squad.

Targett was used again by Hughes at the King Power Stadium but he had to be replaced in the second half after a head collision.

This injury crisis at left-back could see Yan Valery make his second appearance for Hughes’ side just days after making his debut in the Carabao Cup.

Daily Echo:

Yan Valery making his Leicester debut

It’s likely that Cedric Soares will go into the left-back position and Valery will slot in at right-back.

Hughes added: “Ryan Bertrand is struggling with an issue with his back which has flared up again.

“We have managed it in the past, but it is causing anxiety at the moment and he hasn’t trained for a number of days.

“We are hopeful with a fair wind we might get him out tomorrow but if not, we are hopeful he will be back for next week.”