To say that fiery Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was happy to snag his first Premier League win was an understatement.
And perhaps Hasenhuttl was understated himself in celebrating Saints’ first goal of Sunday’s 3-2 win over Arsenal, but he made up for it on the other two markers and after the final whistle saw Southampton move out of the drop zone.
[ RECAP: Southampton 3-2 Arsenal ]
“It’s amazing what the team can do in a week,” Hasenhuttl said. “It was very intensive, we had time to work on the basics and built the fundamentals for our game. I’m very proud of how focused and uncompromising they were, and when they had the chances, how merciless they were.”
Match-winner Charlie Austin, whose winning goal came with just minutes to play, gives his new boss credit for the victory.
“It’s great,” Austin said. “The gaffer’s brought in new ideas and it’s not just changed things in the changing room but around the whole club.”
“A new manager comes in. The lads get a rocket and start expressing themselves.”
Striker Danny Ings scored twice in the win before Austin nabbed the winner. For Ings, it was his first brace since Nov. 2014 when he was with Burnley.
The hometown hero, once released from the club as a youth, is maintaining a steady gait in the face of a rare win.
“We knew those crosses would be dangerous, we’ve been working on them all week, and I was there to put them away.”
“As a club we know the position we’ve put ourselves, and with the squad we’ve got it’s not good enough,” Ings said. “But if we keep showing resilience and hard work we can turn it round. It shows we’re moving in the right direction already.”
Saints go to Huddersfield Town next in a crucial clash near the bottom of the table, and a visit from in-form West Ham follows the relegation six-pointer.