Adams had been a regular for the Saints alongside Danny Ings in attack during the first half of the campaign, having even been tasked with leading the line when the prolific ex-Liverpool man had a spell out injured. The 24-year-old has started 20 of the Saints’ 24 Premier League matches this term and has featured in all but one match (Sofascore), but Nathan Redmond has been preferred to him in the last couple of games.
Adams has been on something of a drought, with his last goal for Southampton coming in the 3-0 win against Sheffield United back in December. That means he has gone 14 matches in all competitions without finding the back of the net. However, he already has eight goal involvements in the league this term, two more than he managed last season (Sofascore).
Speaking to the Southern Daily Echo ahead of the Saints’ trip to Leeds this evening, Hasenhuttl pleaded with Adams to show patience, insisting that he would get the chance to start once again in the near future. The manager also believes that a dip in form was to be expected given the tough fixture schedule, saying:
He was a little bit unlucky in the last weeks. These games were far away from what he was playing in the beginning of the season.
He had to work a lot up front, so it’s normal that there comes a moment where you’re a little bit struggling with freshness and so it’s good for him to have a few days now to recover.
And then I’m happy to have him because he can score, he can help you. He will get his time to play again, for sure.
Read Southampton verdict
Adams has shown significant improvement this season in his second campaign in the Premier League, averaging 1.3 shots and one key pass per game compared to 0.7 shots and 0.4 key passes per match in 2019/20 (Sofascore). That demonstrates how patience and belief in him from Hasenhuttl has helped him to become an important member of the team.
The 24-year-old has shown a lot of character before in his Southampton career, having gone 24-games without a goal last term before his stunning effort against Manchester City in July. That suggests there should be no reason for him to panic about his current drought or his recent omission from the starting XI.
Southampton might benefit from him being rested and taken out of the firing line, with Adams able to regain some fitness and then get back to his best. That is what Hasenhuttl is challenging him to do and his past performances suggest he will be able to come good.