Southampton boss Claude Puel bemoans bad luck ahead of Norwich City replay

Southampton manager Claude Puel during the third round of the FA Cup at Carrow Road, Norwich
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Southampton manager Claude Puel during the third round of the FA Cup at Carrow Road, Norwich . Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Southampton manager Claude Puel wants his side to learn from the mistakes they made against Norwich City when the teams meet again for their Emirates FA Cup third-round replay this evening.

Steven Naismith levelled the scores in stoppage time on January 7 to force a replay, and the Saints boss wants his players to put the disappointment of the 2-2 draw behind them. Southampton have won only one of their last six games in all competitions, beating Liverpool in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg, and host Norwich on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Burnley on Saturday.

Puel said: 'Norwich was another disappointment. It was a game where we had good control of the ball but without many opportunities. It was the same as many games - we are unlucky.

'Many games are the same, without opportunity for the opponent and 30 seconds from the final whistle we conceded another goal.

'It was a shame because we had all of the ball and now it's important to finish this work at home, in front of our fans, and to give a good answer and get a good result.'

Puel has become known for tinkering with his starting line-up each week, and has made 179 changes during the 31 games he has been in charge this season.

The Southampton boss has never named the same side in consecutive matches, and admits there will be a mixture of young and experienced players in the side to face Norwich.

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Puel said: 'It's normally a mix. It's important to continue the work, to improve with these young players and also to put around them experienced players to maintain a good level with the emotion, the physicality and the quality.

'I think with all of these games in January it's important also to make rotation, but of course we want to qualify - it's important for all the squad to continue this work. It's important to give game-time to different players, to continue to improve - it's important for Southampton. A good result would be a good thing for the squad at this moment. With Leicester, it will be another game.'

Southampton are hopeful that midfielder Steven Davis will have recovered from a knock which kept him out of the Premier League game against Burnley at the weekend, but Sofiane Boufal (knee), Charlie Austin (shoulder), Matt Targett (hamstring), Alex McCarthy (hamstring) and Jeremy Pied (knee) remain sidelined.