Ronald Koeman says injuries to Charlie Austin and Shane Long will give other players an opportunity to stake a claim for a regular place in the team.
Saints lost both strikers during a ten-minute spell in the second half of Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at AFC Bournemouth, with Austin set to be sidelined for a couple of weeks with a hamstring problem, while Long will miss today’s game against Sunderland because of a knee issue.
With a different attacking line-up set to be fielded against the Black Cats, Koeman says there is a chance for others to prove they should be in the team.
“If you don't start for a few weeks about different reasons, you can get a chance and you have to show it,” Koeman told Southampton’s official YouTube channel.
“Of course, you don't do it with 11 players. You need all the players and it's time to show after the last defeat against Bournemouth. I think we need to give a good reaction.”
The good news for Koeman is that, with depth in his squad, he has significant quality to call upon in the absence of Long and Austin, but he explained that any further injuries to attacking players could start to cause a problem.
"We have still competition, but it's now a little bit more a problem, because we don't have really a striker now as a back-up.
“Ok, it's only for the weekend. Shane will come back after the weekend. Then it's more easy, but you have to take it as the situation is at the moment.”