RALPH Hasenhuttl paid tribute to his backroom staff for keeping his squad fit over the busiest period of the season.

Alek Gross leads the strength and conditioning team at Saints and has played an important role in ensuring everyone is able to play.

The St Mary's side have only had injuries to Sofiane Boufal, which happened at home, and Moussa Djenepo, with Yan Valery picking up a viral infection.

Hasenhuttl revealed: "I don’t like to speak too much about it because I don't want to jinx it. If you speak about that suddenly it happens. 

"I take it as a positive part of our work. We try to balance the sessions, we keep them short in this intense time and the physios and doctor do a fantastic job with the guys. 

"Because of the recovery options we have here they are always looking forward and are very professional. 

"But I cannot say other teams don’t so it’s also a little bit of luck. 

"In the end, I think all these parts have brought us to a situation where at the moment we’re without injuries.

"But this is a sport with contact so anything can happen so I won’t discuss it too much. But it’s nice that it is like this at the moment and hopefully it stays like this."

Sides such as Bournemouth and Tottenham have been hit with injuries in recent weeks, with the former losing Harry Kane when they played Saints on New Year's Day.

Hasenhuttl's team have played six games in less than a month, although he rotated heavily for the FA Cup win against Huddersfield.

They will have another four matches before their winter break starts in February.

Asked how much planning goes into keeping his squad fit, Hasenhuttl said: "We’ve found a good balance so far.

"Over Christmas, it’s difficult to find time for resting but I think it was the first time in my managing career I’ve had such a season going into the winter. Then Christmas for me was also new. 

"Last year was different because I came in December so it didn’t feel like it had been going on for a long time. 

"The players in England get used to this high intense schedule and cannot see that they are struggling so it’s important to find a good balance in the sessions; short, sharp and intense. 

"They focus on the games fantastically. I’ve enjoyed the period I must say because we’ve taken a lot of points but it was nice to watch how focused and concentrated they were working."