SAINTS manager Ralph Hasenhuttl insists his side will show “a good balance of braveness and respect,” to Manchester City on Saturday, adding: “You can play a perfect game and even then lose.”

His side face a tough test in search of a first Premier League win of the season, travelling to the Etihad Stadium – where the hosts have won their last three league games 5-0 consecutively.

They managed to hit six against Hasenhuttl’s former side Red Bull Leipzig on Wednesday, although showed some defensive frailties conceding three to a Christopher Nkunku hattrick.

The hosts are looking to charge down city-rivals Manchester United at the top of the table and will expect to pick up maximum points, but the reward has added value for Saints who could be fighting at the foot for much of the campaign.

Hasenhuttl has revealed the mentality that he thinks Saints will need to adopt going into the contest, as they look to build on three consecutive draws that includes well-battled points against the Red Devils and an in-form West Ham.

Speaking ahead of the game, Hasenhuttl said: “We always try to give our opponents a few moments where they have to worry about us.

“But in the end it will not help only to press high, it will also not help to stay always around the box because we have played this game there also.

“We have to be tight to take something, yes, but they also I think have 20 shots on target in this game (against Leipzig).

“This is hard to defend. We have seen different ways of teams playing against and everybody tried something else, but very often, City had also in the end the win.

“You can play a perfect game and even then you lose because of the individual quality and they have the right moments to finish the game.

“But we are not thinking like this, we are always believing in us for what we are doing and going there with a good balance of braveness but also a good balance of respect and finally doing what we can do.”

City have won each of their last three Premier League fixtures, following a surprising 1-0 defeat to Spurs on the opening day of the season.

Their Champions League conquest opened with a little bit of a fright but what was, in truth, a relatively comfortable contest given that Ferran Torres had a legitimate goal ruled out for offside at a crucial point that would have killed the game and made it 5-2. 

Asked what Saints can learn from watching that match, Hasenhuttl added: "You see nothing that you don't know so far.

"You see that when the pressing is not 100% perfect, they find a way through because of their high ball speed, very good leaving and refilling of spaces.

"When you are too man orientated then it is not working, when you are not brave enough, it is not working, when you're half a second too late, they pop you. So if you don't do it perfect, better don't do it because it doesn't work.

"If you are able to do it, then you can still cause some issues and troubles, we have shown this in the past."