RALPH Hasenhuttl believes he won’t have an issue keeping his players motivated as he targets a top-half finish.

Saints opened up a 10-point cushion over the relegation zone with their win against Aston Villa last weekend.

Should Hasenhuttl’s side beat the Hammers tomorrow they’ll increase their advantage to 13 points.

Despite this, the Austrian made it clear his players will continue putting the work in.

He said: “We want to win the games. We are not top of the table and there are a lot of positions to climb and this I the goal every weekend.

“We know it is very tight and that if we win two games we will immediately be in the top-ten but if we lose two then we are back in 14th.

“It goes very quick, so the key is to always take points consistently.

“It’s a different kind of pressure if you want but we don’t need more than the possibility of another three points to keep us motivated.

“Our team shows a good balance of having fun, laughing in the sessions, but in the right moment they are concentrated.

“These are good characteristics for a team that wants to become a top-ten team.”

Because of Saints’ recent form, there has been growing chatter about a late charge towards the Europa League spots.

Although that seems unlikely, Hasenhuttl believes anything is possible and that his players have the right mindset in terms of finishing the season strongly.

He added: “We can always look wherever we want.

“Our fans can dream whatever they want and for us it’s important we are clear that we are looking at the things we can do better.

“In the last game, we had a term of 20 minutes where we didn’t play good and I think we have been very self-critical in the debrief of the game because that was necessary.

“It’s always a good result winning with the clean sheet because then you can be more critical because the players can then think they were a little bit lucky we didn’t concede a goal.

“The players enjoy working hard, running a lot and fighting for everything.

“We go there with self-confidence but with the knowledge that this is a strong opponent and that we were struggling in the last games against them.

“We want to go there and show that we can do it better.”