Ralph Hasenhuttl says he not yet had to have a difficult conversation with Ryan Bertrand over why the former England international is not being picked.

Bertrand dropped out of the side with an ankle injury just before the game at Brighton but Hasenhuttl confirmed that Kevin Danso was going to be selected ahead of him anyway.

The former England man was fully fit and available for the game at Sheffield United, for which Danso was suspended, but Hasenhuttl preferred to play Moussa Djenepo there and later Cedric Soares.

All three of those are being used out of their natural positions while Bertrand is the only senior left back and left wing-back at the club.

As of yet Hasenhuttl has not had to have the difficult chat with Bertrand as to why he is being overlooked.

“Not so far,” said Hasenhuttl. “As always after being injured when the team is successful it is not so easy to come back in the team. It is for every player the same.

“If somebody else is playing in the position and the team is successful they must wait for the moment to come in.

“I am happy that I have him and it gives me more quality when he’s fit and helps me.

“We have a few interesting options in this position.

“Cedric played last week and did it well.

“The most important thing for me is that we stay flexible and hard to read and hard to look at us and that is maybe one of our biggest strengths at the moment that nobody knows how we play or what positions the guys are coming and this can be a big advantage.”

Danso returns from his one game ban tonight and is contention to start on the left side of defence while Cedric could also get the nod if Bertrand is again overlooked.

Part of that decision could depend on which formation Hasenhuttl goes with.

He had a fascinating tactical battle with Bournemouth counterpart Eddie Howe at St Mary’s last season with both managers changing formations multiple times during the match, and Hasenhuttl is prepared for more of the same if required.

“This is maybe the most interesting part of being a manager,” he smiled. “It is sometimes compared with playing chess and you must maybe think about what the opponent does with the next move and then you have to have the answer.

“It’s not always necessary maybe but if you have a team that can do it then it helps massively.

“In modern football it is necessary to have a plan b or maybe even c or d. This is what we were working on in the whole season so far, the pre-season and since I am here maybe.

“To switch from a back four to a back five is not difficult for us.”