Mauricio Pellegrino insists that today’s FA Cup third round tie at Fulham should be viewed as a chance for Saints to turn things around, rather than feared as another potential blow.

The Saints boss is trying to rally his deflated squad for the game at Craven Cottage, though he expects their Championship opponents to provide a stern test.

Pellegrino will play the strongest side he can for the match, as he bids to end a run of nine games without a win.

He said: “I think we have to start doing simple things, basics in defence and attack to try to make the team feel comfortable in the pitch.

“I think we did in the last two games but now Saturday we have another opportunity and we use this game as a reference to move one step forward.

“A good opportunity against a Championship team that play good football, good players, quick style, and we want to show we improve, and win first round.

“It will be a difficult game, difficult pitch, but I will use the best for Southampton to win this game.”

While some Premier League bosses are likely to rest a whole raft of players for FA Cup matches, there is no much temptation for Pellegrino given Saints’ current predicament.

“In the recent matches I used to move some players because I got in different positions many players that are really tight the level, all of them can play, especially in the middle and centre backs, even in the final third,” he said.

“Right now I will try to choose my best 11 to win this game.”

With Saints having fallen at the first hurdle in the Carabao Cup at home to Wolves, Pellegrino, who guided Alaves to a Copa Del Rey final, is keen for success.

“We have to think about the first game and obviously it will be a difficult situation because every team is different and every experience you have to live this,” he explained.

“Fulham is a good team with good principle and good football and on their pitch is really difficult.

“I want to use this game to improve, to move one step forward in all different aspects.

“I will try to use my best 11 to win this game.”

He added: “Nobody has got anything to speculate. You are in or out.

“You have to go forward and try and beat your opponent.

“We know this team, they know us.

“I think it will be a good game because they try to go forward and keep the ball on the ground.

“A really tough game but interesting."