Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl thinks Michael Obafemi is lacking 'a bit of professionalism’.

The striker sustained a hamstring injury following the 3-1 win at Huddersfield in December and has been out of action since.

Speaking at a fans’ forum hosted by the club, Hasenhuttl was quizzed about the injury pile-up and revealed his thoughts on the matter.

Daily Echo:

Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl

The Austrian said: “I think we must look exactly what the reasons are for these injuries are.

“Michael Obafemi came up from the youth and he has a very, very stiff body because he is a type of sprinter and this guy has to work very hard on his body, so he can play the game we need him to play.

“He is very, very quick and we need him to sprint not two or three times, but we need it 20 or 30 times.

“To do this, he must be more physically trained and also have a better recovery like he did until now.

“I think I am missing a bit of professionalism in his work and that is sometimes a part of the young players.”

Hasenhuttl said on Monday that Obafemi will still be sidelined for a further three weeks.

The 18-year-old netted his first goal for Saints in the Huddersfield victory and made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland in a whirlwind start to the season.

Daily Echo:

Michael Obafemi after his debut for the Republic of Ireland

However, Saints’ manager believes Obafemi, and the other young players, can allow complacency to creep into their game once they've played in the top-flight.

“They think it goes very easy to come up and play in the Premier League, but it’s much more than this,” Hasenhuttl added.

“To be a professional means to be working hard every day, preparing for the training and then recovering.

“I think that’s sometimes not in their mind and this may be a reason why he [Obafemi] has problems with his hamstrings.”