RALPH Hasenhuttl has asked Saints fans to show patience at St Mary’s as his side aims to build on their back-to-back wins at Aston Villa and Chelsea against Crystal Palace this afternoon.

Saints gave fans the perfect Christmas by bouncing back from a sixth defeat in nine home games with two-goal victories at Villa Park and Stamford Bridge.

Now Hasenhuttl wants the supporters to remain positive at St Mary’s as they aim to end a calendar year with three successive wins for the first time since 1977.

He said: “I hope these two wins give us a good atmosphere from the beginning in our stadium.

“It’s a difficult game at home but we must carry on our game at St Mary’s, where we’ve had some difficult moments this season.

“I know that we have to show up and we will.

“We’ll work like we did [on Boxing Day] and a little more patience in our stadium will help us because our away fans are the best example of how to support us. In our own stadium we must be more committed.”

Hasenhuttl understands why fans have grown frustrated with his team at St Mary’s.

“There’s a reason why we have less patience at home, because we’ve lost a lot of games and always at home,” he said.

“In away games we nearly always score the first goal.

“But it’s about the 90 minutes and giving a chance to stick to the game plan, to make two or three passes in behind until the space is opened.

“Crystal Palace defend well and are extremely dangerous on the counter-attack so we must have patience.”

Saints have been criticised too readily when passing the ball backwards at St Mary’s, but their fabulous second goal at Chelsea was an example of what can be achieved when they are patient in possession.

“If you change your attitude mentally you are also more self-confident when you get the ball and I think you could feel it [at Chelsea],” continued Hasenhuttl, whose team has improved since returning to his favoured counter-pressing style.

“We had moments this season where we discussed not trying to win the ball back immediately but that is not possible in this league because the opponents are too strong.

“Now we don’t care about mistakes they aren’t a problem for us. We turn, fight back and win the ball back. This is good.

“There’s still a long way to go, but I think in the first two months we played like a relegation team; and now we play like a Premier League team.”

Hasenhuttl has an interesting selection decision to make as his side prepares to play just 48 hours after a win at Chelsea that he rates as his best result as Saints manager.

“Before the [Chelsea] game I thought we would make a few changes but after that performance everybody wants to play,” he smiled.

Danny Ings is sure to be recalled but Michael Obafemi’s goal and performance will have raised his hopes of starting a Premier League game at St Mary’s for a third time, while Che Adams was also outstanding at Chelsea.

Hasenhuttl added: “With the left foot Michael doesn’t score that often in his entire career but he did a fantastic job; he kept the ball very well and was always there to help the team. That’s the best Michael we can imagine.

“It’s important we know that not only Danny can score goals, we have more options.”