ORIOL Romeu admits he and his teammates are feeling the pain after an "intense" first week of training under Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Hasenhuttl has not given his players a day off this week as they adapt to his pressing game ahead of Sunday’s clash against in-form Arsenal and another six-pointer at Huddersfield before the busy Christmas period.

Saints midfielder Romeu said: “It’s been intense, there haven’t been days off, it’s been very different. We’ve been working on a lot of things every day

“It’s been tough. On Wednesday we had a recovery session and everyone was feeling hamstrings, and our quads were all tight, but that’s part of the change.

“We’re going to get that. There are different exercises that are hard for us to get used to it but after a week or two it will come naturally.

“It will affect us for a few days and weeks but when we get that physical fitness right the team is going to play with the higher intensity he wants for 90 minutes.

“It’s about getting the ball as soon as we recover and getting that pressure into players all round the pitch when in tight areas.

“That’s difficult, therefore you need to get ready for it.

“So everything is short, there are lots of sprints, and to get there as soon as possible we need to do it every day.”

Romeu is relishing his opportunity under Hasenhuttl, having fallen out of favour under Hughes.

“I knew as soon as he came I had my chance and getting physically stronger helps me. I feel more comfortable, we all feel better and welcome that change into our game.

“Off the pitch we’ve made a few rules, he’s brought everyone together and things we didn’t pay attention to before we’re paying attention to now.

“Everyone’s on the same page and a lot more positive and optimistic and that’s very important in a group when you’ve got so many individuals. Habits are getting better.

“You can feel how the atmosphere has changed in one week.”

Romeu was outstanding in the corresponding game last season, when Arsenal scored a late equaliser, and was also involved in the 4-0 win against the Gunners three years ago.

But Arsenal have adapted to a pressing game under Unai Emery so well that they were unbeaten in 21 matches going into last night’s Europa League game against FK Qarabag.

“It’s what modern teams are doing and whoever does it better will have a better chance to win,” continued Romeu who is one booking away from a suspension.

“We’ll be tight and work hard to react when we lose the ball and make them always feel always someone is close to them.”

It has been well documented that Saints have only won two home games in 2018 and Romeu recognises the importance of getting off to a positive start in their first match under Hasenhuttl at St Mary’s.

They have an encouraging performance in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United to build on.

“It’s a good test for us to play against a top team,” continued Romeu.

“If we get things right and end the bad run at home, we’ll get the crowd behind us, which we need as soon as possible.

“The fans need good results to start believing in us. We can say a lot but results are what really talk.

“If we want them to support us we need to give something back. December’s a tough month but if we can get something from the difficult games it will make us more confident for the others.”