Ralph Hasenhüttl admits it has been a long wait between games for Southampton, and he says it is up to them to show they have used the time well when they face Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
Saints are coming out of a free weekend, with their early exit from the FA Cup resulting in an extended gap between matches, but they have been putting the time to good use.
Hasenhüttl had his players in on both Saturday and Sunday, and the manager explained the additional time to work with the squad has been useful – but he is insistent they must show the fans at St Mary's tomorrow that they have made the best of it.
ralph hasenhüttlwe have worked on all areas of our game.
"It is a long period of preparation – a strange week, because on Saturday and Sunday there was no game, but we spent the time in a good way, working very hard and we have had very good training sessions and the guys showed the willingness to learn and the willingness to work hard," he said.
"You could feel that in every session. We had a good week, but it's only training, and now we have to show on Wednesday that we are prepared and that the guys see we are prepared in the right way.
"We have worked on all areas of our game – winning the ball, transitioning after losing the ball, playing with the ball. Also set-pieces were an important part of our week. We still have a session on Tuesday to go and then on Wednesday evening we have to show we have the quality to win this game."
Hasenhüttl's side have taken seven points from their last three Premier League games, winning the past two, and they now have an opportunity to pull even further away from the relegation zone against a Palace side who are above them only on goal difference.
Hasenhüttl said: "We have taken two important wins, against Leicester and then Everton at home, and we will do everything to take a third league win in a row.
"That would help us a lot, but we are against a very, very good team – they have shown in the last weeks they can play very good games against good teams.
"They are a very well-balanced team with a very stable defence and good quality for their transitions forward, with Zaha. I think they are really a very strong opponent, but I think we have also shown we are getting better and better. It will be a tough game."