Ralph Hasenhuttl is absolutely delighted perhaps “a little scared” by what Southampton are doing at the moment after going top of the Premier League table for the first time in club history on Friday.
Saints’ Austrian boss labeled his side’s performance “complete” as they not only scored twice — and could have easily had four or five — but just as importantly, Southampton allowed Newcastle United virtually nothing in terms of scoring chances at the other end of the field. Making him even more proud, Hasenhuttl reminded everyone that his team wasn’t building with big money, but on lots of hard work instead — quotes from the BBC:
“It’s amazing what my team does in the moment. Congratulations to everybody around the pitch and the team. Amazing. We could maybe have scored more, but the rest was perfect. Everybody was on the highest level. It is a little scary what we are doing at the moment to be honest, but not surprising when I see what we are working on.
“Earlier, we could have closed the game, earlier. That was definitely possible. The way we played through lines was fantastic to watch. We can then make the last pass and final decision even better, but this is criticism on a high level. We know it’s not so easy to create a lot of chances against these teams.”
“I just told the guys in the dressing room that we invested so much in this time together. We made so many big steps forward. We are now a strong side. That is not a coincidence. It helped us that we had situations where there were no crowds as we developed our game without as much stress. It was the complete game, I think.”
“It was a very good performance again. We showed that we are one step further in our development now.
“I must be very proud. We developed not with a lot of invested money but with a lot of invested work. We had some good results in the past two or three months and it was important everyone can see the philosophy we are following can be successful.”
Sure, Southampton could be off the Premier League’s top spot by 9:30 am ET on Saturday, but they’re unbeaten in their last six league games (5W-1D-0L) and have kept four clean sheets in six games since losing 5-2 to Tottenham Hotspur to start the season with back-to-back losses. The steely resolve on display at St. Mary’s Stadium is, in a word, undeniable.