Every word Saints manager Russell Martin said ahead of facing Cardiff City at St Mary's on Saturday, December 2.

How are Kamaldeen and Stewart’s health?

RM: Unfortunately, both are going to be out for quite a while. It is really disappointing for different reasons.

Ross is hugely disappointing because he has worked so hard to get fully fit and then he landed in an awkward compromising position against Huddersfield late on in the game.

He has got a muscle injury, and we are not expecting him back this side of Christmas. Maybe mid-to-late January all being well, but it may be even later than that. We will see.

It is still being assessed and monitored and he is seeing a specialist about it. I am really heartbroken for Ross. The whole group is. 

It is not the same injury which is a bonus so he will have some time out now and hopefully come back fit and firing. It is always a risk when you come back from a long-term injury.

I don’t feel like we have rushed him. Everyone has been in agreement with the plan. The sports science, medical department, and Ross himself.

He has been desperate to play more and come back quicker so it is unfortunate and I’m disappointed for him.

Kamaldeen felt his hamstring on Wednesday, and we were hopeful because of the action he did it in that it would be something not too significant, but he is going to be a similar timeline to Ross.

It is two big losses. It’s really disappointing but that’s football and whenever someone gets injured, there is an opportunity for someone else.

We will support them back in their rehab and try and get them back into the group as quickly and safely as possible. We have a lot of games between now and then to focus on.

They will get everyone’s best care and attention, but both will be out for the weekend.

Does it make you think differently about January?

RM: I think we are clear about January in-house and what we need. That will be dependent on finance and options available and what happens between now and January as well.

We didn’t envisage them two getting injured so it might change the plan a little bit. Also, they should be back fairly soon in and around that time or just after the window closes.

I really don’t know. It depends on their progress, and it depends on the results between now and then as well and how we feel the team is and what shape it is in.

It is a blow, and it may change things but at this moment in time, I don’t expect it too much. We have options on the bench who are desperate to play.

People will have a chance to step up now and take the opportunities that they have been given recently.

Especially Kamaldeen I think it is the best run of games that he has had in his career so far, in terms of starts and being fit and available for training or playing.

It is a big disappointment and a setback for him. Everyone else has to be ready.

Cardiff are a side who shown themselves as very capable this season, what do you expect?

RM: Aggressive, physical. Their new manager has really stamped his authority on the team and I think they have recruited well. 

The manager is really sure about what he wants and what they require. They have hit a sticky patch recently but had tough games.

It will be interesting to see if they set up differently to Huddersfield or Bristol City and it will be another challenge. 

I feel like we are in a really good place. The third game in a week. They have had an extra day of recovery than us.

We have to make sure more than ever that it’s a game that we want it to be and not what they want it to be. I’m looking forward to it.

Unbeaten in five in a row at home so how pleasing are these aspects?

RM: I am more happy for the players than anyone because of what they have done and to where they are now.

They have a huge amount of respect and gratitude from us as a coaching staff. The supporters, too, as we had some difficult nights against Leicester and Ipswich.

The mood has completely changed around the stadium. When you sit in this job, you have to accept there are not many times where you're completely happy.

I have a lot of joy but that's different to being satisfied because you know you always need to work on things or work out the next problem's solutions.

We win 1-0 on Wednesday, we have a little thing on the radio after the game and then you go back and I'm already trying to think about Cardiff, watching clips and not sleeping.

There is so much joy in the work and the process but you get very little time to enjoy it. I enjoy winning, we are winners, and we are trying to win in the right way.

When you have such strong conviction in something there is a fine line between being satisfied and always wanting more.

This team, I believe, have so much more to give. So while I'm so happy, I can't be happy for too long and I always want more. 

It can be a lonely job at times and I have amazing support but sometimes it falls on you, and sometimes their careers fall on you too, and your family. 

It's an amazing privilege and a really long answer to your question but I'm never fully satisfied or comfortable, you can't be in this job.

Can you be relentless over the course of the entire season? 

RM: Being in this job for four years, it's really interesting. When you go into it, you talk about balance and self-care and stuff like that.

I have some strict routines that help me and I go home and focus on my family because that's so important to me. 

However, it is never not in your mind, the job, and wanting to be successful and wanting to help people or support and empower them. 

Balance is really difficult but what happens is you work, and I'll probably get criticised for this, but I work, get ill for two days, recover and go again. 

There is no compromise. I love doing what I do, I am eating too much at the minute, I like bread a bit too much, but when you're tired you make bad decisions. 

Fundamentally, it is a really difficult job to be in and to be relentless in all the time without sacrificing something, but the job requires that. 

As a leader, you are always judged on your energy and your authenticity. Those are the two key things.

When I come in here after a game, whether we've won or lost, and then come in the next day to speak to the players.

On Thursday, we came in and we're trying to teach the players what was good, what wasn't good and why I had an argument with Adam on the radio so it doesn't happen again.

That's the point and the process. You have to find your energy all the time somehow and I get energy from everyone we work with.

At some point, there is a cost to that. I feel fiercely protective about the players because I love what they're doing and what we're trying to do.

When you are all-in and have energy and good people, hopefully at some point you will be successful.