Southampton boss Ruben Selles insists he has seen enough from his side not to give up hope on their Premier League survival battle despite the fact time is fast running out.
The Saints remain bottom and five points adrift of safety after leaders Arsenal fought back from 3-1 down to draw at the Emirates Stadium last Friday night.
While it was a welcome point from a match Southampton were widely expected to lose, failure to hold on for what would have been a much-needed victory leaves the outlook bleak with just six games left.
Selles, though, has no intention of throwing in the towel just yet as they prepare to host south-coast rivals Bournemouth on Thursday night.
“We showed (against Arsenal) where we are and we showed where we want to be,” said Saints boss Selles, who succeeded Nathan Jones in February.
“We had some good bits of football there and against a great opponent.
“Again, we dropped two points, but it was a spirit that I have been highlighting, that the boys are fighting and are working well during the week to get the result.
“We didn’t get the three (points), but we got the sensation that we can compete against anybody and we have been doing that for the last two months.”
Selles told a press conference: “We just need to take this energy and the way that we played (against Arsenal).
“We will adjust some behaviours because the opponent in front is a different opponent that we had last Friday, but the essence is that our identity should be the same.
“We are still alive (in the survival battle) and we are still there in the fight.
“We will be there until the very last second, that’s for sure, and that is what everybody needs to expect from us.”
Saints have not won in seven league games, but Selles is confident results will come.
“We have made some good performances and more than enough to get at least one win from the last four or five matches, but we didn’t,” he said.
“The performance is there and we need to try to transform that performance into the three points.
“It is a fact that we are there, we are fighting and are competitive against any opponent.
“We just need to make this final bit to get the three points and once we get it, hopefully tomorrow, then is going to be a very different scenario.”
Southampton will have striker Che Adams available again following four matches out with a calf problem suffered while on international duty with Scotland.
Defender Jan Bednarek continues to be assessed as he recovers from a head injury picked up during the first half at Arsenal.
On-loan Gunners full-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles was ineligible to face his former club, so should be involved again.
Jack Stephens has impressed in his loan spell with Bournemouth, having been allowed a temporary move for the rest of the season in September.
Selles hopes the 29-year-old, who will not able to play in Thursday’s game, will return to the club to help make an impact for the next campaign.
“I think Jack had the ability and personality to be a Premier League player,” Selles said.
“I was not involved in the decision (for a loan move) and it is not for me to evaluate that decision, all I can say is I would like to have Jack here.
“He is one of the players that when they come back from loan can be important because one of the things that we need is people that can identify themselves with Southampton.”