MANAGER Ralph Hasenhuttl insisted “it is always an option to think about a change of shape” when asked about Saints’ right-back resources being stretched to the limit at present.

The Austrian boss, who has regularly stuck to his renowned 4-2-2-2 formation, is lacking on the right side of the back four following the injury sustained by Kyle Walker-Peters.

With Yan Valery on loan at Birmingham City, Saints have tried the likes of central defenders Jack Stephens and Jan Bednarek in the position on recent occasions.

Youngster Kayne Ramsay started against Manchester United earlier this month in an infamous 9-0 away defeat.

The St Mary’s side are preparing to take on Chelsea at St Mary’s on Saturday.

Asked whether he had at any point considered a temporary change of system, Hasenhuttl said: “Everything is possible.

“Whenever we have played a 4-2-2-2 is it possible to change the shape.

“You want to bring the best players on the pitch and if you have no player in one position then it is always an option to think about a change of shape.

“The most important thing is that you bring the best players on the pitch, this is why we changed to a 4-2-2-2, because we had so many offensive players and we had no positions for them.

“This is why we are always open-minded for everything.”

With no midweek fixture, Hasenhuttl has been able to work with his side on the training ground following Sunday’s 2-1 home defeat to Wolves.

Quizzed on whether you could make an adjustment in system quickly, the Saints boss said: “Yes (quite quickly). When we build up with the ball we play as a three sometimes.

“This is not something that is too difficult to change quickly. Especially when you have a week to prepare, it is possible to play as back five, definitely."