Ralph Hasenhuttl insists his team can block out the distraction of Tuesday night’s derby match at Portsmouth and focus on going third in the Premier League table with a win against Bournemouth this evening.

Hasenhuttl admitted that every fan he bumps into tells him how important the Pompey game is and has been urging him to put out his strongest possible team and get a first Saints win at Fratton Park since 1984.

But the Saints boss is adamant he won’t choose between the Cherries match, the Pompey one and the following game at Tottenham a week tomorrow because he doesn’t have to.

He said: “It’s hard not to think about (Portsmouth) because everywhere you come the fans are telling you how important it is.

“They can be sure we know it’s an interesting game but first we have to concentrate on Bournemouth.

“I don’t think about any rotation to save players for Tuesday. We have enough time between Friday’s game against Bournemouth and Tuesday against Portsmouth and Tuesday to Saturday against Tottenham.

“We try to pick the best side for us. Look at Fulham, we had injured players and I took everybody for this game and Nathan was injured afterwards and Moussa also so we try to win every game.”

Saints supporters have certainly done their bit to drum home the importance of the Pompey match.

When asked what message he had received from the fans, Hasenhuttl smiled: “That it is the real south coast derby.

“It’s about history and you can feel in every sentence how important it is for the fans.

“The message is clear but from my side the message is also clear and if you know us as a team and a club we try to really focus on every game and for us this one is important and the next one will be the same.

“I am really looking for an interesting week for us.”

With Saints having the chance to play first this weekend they can, however briefly, storm up to third, though Hasenhuttl is unconcerned about the league position.

“I don’t care about the table in the moment,” he said.

“You can really say something if you played one time against every opponent and then you say you did it good in the first half of the season or not.

“Win twice and suddenly top three or four or lose twice and you are in the relegation zone so it doesn’t matter at the moment.”