Hasenhuttl cites main reason behind ‘deserved’ Southampton success

Hasenhuttl cites main reason behind ‘deserved’ Southampton success

Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl hailed Southampton’s long overdue victory and felt the return of injured players was key to the result.

Saints had not tasted victory since beating Liverpool on January 4 but were too good for Sheffield United. The south-coast outfit had taken one point from nine games but secured a 2-0 triumph at Bramall Lane.

James Ward-Prowse scored from the penalty spot on 32 minutes after Ethan Ampadu had brought down Nathan Tella. But the highlight of the match was Che Adams’ spectacular strike just after the break.

He hammered the ball home from 20 yards after the Blades failed to clear their lines. The result sees Southampton move onto 33 points and further away from the relegation zone.

Hasenhuttl has cut a frustrated figure in recent weeks but was delighted with the result.

“The first win after a long time is always an important one,” he told Sky Sports. “I think it was deserved, a good performance. It feels good.

“The team did what we had to do against a side fighting for everything. We could have scored more. That’s the only thing I could criticise.”

The St Mary’s outfit are now 10 points clear of the relegation zone with 11 games to go.

Confidence returning

Hasenhuttl has had to deal with a lengthy injury list this season. That has grown by one after Danny Ings was forced off the pitch with a leg injury on 13 minutes.

The manager appeared downbeat about his striker, saying: “It doesn’t look good to be honest.”

However, things worked out well as his replacement, Adams, notched the all-important second goal. Saints were in the top four in December before plunging down the table.

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Injuries took their toll, with a 9-0 trashing away to Manchester United the low point. There are now fewer players in the treatment room and the boss believes it was a vital factor in Saturday’s result.

“When you don’t have your first team on the pitch it’s always tough. We don’t have such a big squad,” he added. “You miss players in crucial positions like right-back.

“When you get them back, you automatically feel more confident. You can immediately work on a few things we showed in the first half of the season.

“There are still a lot of games to go. We’ve been much higher in the table then we had this negative run. It’s important we can turn it round now.”

 

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