SAINTS legend Terry Paine is backing Moussa Djenepo to provide the spark that the club needs to get out of the bottom three.

The Mali international scored his second goal for his country in their African Nations Cup qualifying win in Chad yesterday.

It was his third goal of the season, following his Premier League match-winners for Saints at Brighton and Sheffield United

But an injury-interrupted start to his Saints career meant he made only his second Premier League start in the 2-1 defeat at home to Everton.

Paine is hoping to see Djenepo retain his place in the Saints side as they aim to pick up another good away result at Arsenal on Saturday.

“I’d like to see the young Djenepo play on Saturday and get a sustained run, free of injury,” said Paine.

“He’s given glimpses of hope and if he can get a run in the side and settle down in the side he might just be the difference.

“He’s only 21 and only come in this season and got the injury so hasn’t really had a chance to establish himself.

“If he can adapt to the Premier League he’ll be big asset. But he needs to play in his right position to benefit the team.”

Saints will be aiming to avoid a fifth successive defeat at Arsenal, a run that began with the 0-9 humiliation at home to Leicester.

Djenepo did not feature that night but Paine’s concern is that it will affect those involved as they prepare for crucial home games against Watford and Norwich after Saturday’s visit to the Emirates.

“Leicester was another upset and reminded me of our heaviest defeat at The Dell. Funnily enough it was also against Leicester, who won 5-1.

“Peter Shilton scored past our goalkeeper Campbell Forsyth, who blamed the groundsman for painting too thick a line marking, which he believed caused the ball to bounce over his head!

“We never let him forget that! It was a game played in similar, horrible conditions.

“It was raining and the wind was blowing a gale, but you have to move on.

“It was obviously a tremendous blow to go down to ten men so early on, that certainly didn’t help.

“For me losing to Everton was an even bigger disappointment as they were the worst away side at the time.

“But it’s no good looking back, they have to get on with it and keep working hard.

“My worry is that the teams above will pull away so we need to stay in touch with them.

“Arsenal are always likely to score goals but they’ve still got problems at the back so let’s see if we can snick something, get a result that will give us confidence before two home games that we really need to win.

“The players have got to say ‘the responsibility lies with us’. It’s very difficult, you plan for the games ahead and hope to take on to the field what you’ve done in the week.

“But quite often the best of plans go haywire, like the Leicester game.

“They’d have been looking to keep it tight for the first 20 minutes but were 4-0 down inside 40 minutes.”

However, Paine believes Saints are right to keep the faith with Ralph Hasenhuttl.

“You can’t see a change making a difference at this stage,” he said.

“It’s just a case of knuckling down - but the longer we go without getting results the greater the pressure will be.”