Ralph Hasenhuttl has admitted Southampton’s fine form has forced him into rethinking his January transfer plans.
Saints have conjured five wins and a draw from their last six matches in all competitions, to pull away from the Premier League relegation zone and reach the FA Cup fourth round.
Austrian boss Hasenhuttl had previously admitted being in the market for experienced full-backs, but now insists he is loath to upset a new-found balance in his squad.
“The way the team has played in the last few weeks, I wouldn’t say that it’s changed my mind completely, but we now have to be very careful what we do,” said Hasenhuttl.
“And if we do something, how we do it, because I think the team deserves credit now.
“Because they have done a very good job, the players that have played have done very well.
“And also the young guys, we gave a few guys a chance in the FA Cup and their development has gone quicker than we thought.”
Saints have been linked with a move for Tottenham’s Kyle Walker-Peters, but while Hasenhuttl refused to be drawn on individual targets he did concede his squad is in a much stronger place now than even six weeks ago.
Academy graduate Jake Vokins’ rapid development in particular now has Hasenhuttl believing there is no huge onus on Saints to land any new recruits this month.
“If we bring somebody in we must be sure that we don’t block the development of our young players, because this is in general our main way we want to go here in Southampton, to develop the young players,” said Hasenhuttl.
“We have a few interesting ones in our squad, so we won’t do anything unless we really want to.
“And when we really want to sign a player it really has to make sense.
“Sure on the full-back positions we were struggling a little, but Yan Valery is back earlier than we thought and Jake Vokins’ development is better than we thought.
“So we don’t have a ‘must’ now, we can do something if we want.
“But as you know me and our club, we don’t do anything just to do something.
“We’ll have to be careful but we’ll have our eyes open and if something is really perfect for us, then yes, maybe we’ll do something.”