Saints boss Mark Hughes has upped the pressure on the club’s misfiring strikers in a bid to avoid a record-breaking slump.

Should Saints fail to find the net at Manchester City tomorrow it will make it a top-flight club record of six consecutive matches without scoring.

It is obviously something Saints are desperate to avoid, and with Danny Ings the only one of the four frontline strikers to have netted in the Premier League this season, Hughes feels the time is right to up the emphasis on his attackers.

Hughes said: “We are at a point where we have to put pressure on them and we have done this week.

“We can’t be loose in our work and if you get the opportunity in training and are loose and aren’t taking clear cut chances in training then you won’t be able to do that in a match.

“We have been harder on opportunities in training, in drills, in phases of play, just so that understanding that we need a little bit more quality and a little bit more care in terms of our finishing.

“On occasions we have been a bit loose and accepted it and had the view there might be another one coming along in a couple of minutes but that might not be the case, certainly at the weekend. If we get a chance we have to take it.”

Saints have kept back-to-back clean sheets but are without a win in their last six league matches.

City are rampant, winning seven of their last eight in all competitions.

To get anything from the game will be a tough ask, but Hughes insists defensively solidity is a good starting point.

“We have done a lot of work defensively in terms of making sure we have got a better platform to allow the players ahead of the ball and in advanced positions to have more confidence to do their thing,” he said.

“There comes a point where you have to demand from your front guys and goals is what sustain attacking players and the reality is we haven’t scored enough through key personnel who do that job for us.

“We have to find a way to improve either the quality of support and chances or the guys have to step up and take chances and half chances, and it’s a combination of those things really.”