Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl accepts Southampton should already have made things a bit more comfortable for themselves this season.
The Saints head to Burnley on Saturday looking for a first win of the new campaign.
Hasenhuttl expects a response from last weekend’s 5-2 home reverse by Tottenham, which followed defeat by Sky Bet Championship side Brentford in the Carabao Cup.
It is a marked difference from the consistent form shown by Southampton after ‘Project Restart’ last June, when an unbeaten run of seven matches saw them well clear of the survival battle and finish in 11th place.
“I know that it is not automatically after ending a season good and you then start the next one good also,” the Austrian said.
“We had a very difficult pre-season, so it is not really surprising that we don’t play our best football to be honest.
“We know we are a team that only win games when we play better football than we are at the moment, then we have a chance.
“The optimism is maybe there because we showed in these seven unbeaten games (of last season) that we can really be a strong side, but it’s not something you have forever and you have to work always for this.”
Hasenhuttl added: “We know that it is a very long season and we know that we should already have a more comfortable start.
“We know the situation and we know what it is about to come up (on the fixtures list) after a not so good start.
“That is why we take every game as an important chance for getting better and the next game on Saturday is exactly such a chance.
“It is a chance for us to show up against a team we have only taken one point from since I am here and we know that we haven’t beaten them in a long time.
“Every record can come to an end and if we do what we can do best, then I think we can win against them.”
Hasenhuttl does not expect the lack of home fans packed into Turf Moor will have an impact on how his side approach Saturday’s televised evening kick-off.
“It is never easy there, a lot of teams have struggled,” said the Southampton boss, again without winger Nathan Redmond because of an ankle problem.
“It is not a coincidence that they have been successful in the Premier League.
“They are very well organised, we know how tough it is – but we are also not so bad.
“We are better than we have shown in the last three games, and this is what we are focusing on.
“We know that we can play better, that we can play more efficiently and calmer.
“We had a lot of chances in the last games where we did not score.
“We have had games last season where we were more clinical and this would help us absolutely, so that is our goal for the next games.”