Claude Puel was satisfied with the performance of his Southampton side as they drew 0-0 against Hapoel Beer Sheva in Israel.
It was a scrappy encounter at a raucous Turner Stadium, but the result leaves both sides in the top two of the group, with Saints at the summit on goal difference.
“If you cannot win it is important to take one point” Puel stated.
“We left players behind but that wasn’t as factor.”
Twenty-year-old midfielder Jake Hesketh was removed from the game in place of Dusan Tadic in a tactical substitution ten minutes before the break.
“I took Hesketh off because it was just a tactical problem for the team” the Southampton boss explained.
“He is a young player and it was good experience but their was pressure from the fans and the opponents and it was very difficult. It was important for me to protect him.”
Virgil van Dijk was similarly satisfied with the point, as the Saints face Inter Milan next, who lost again, this time at Sparta Prague.
“We started off badly and they were pressing high and were full of confidence” Van Dijk stated.
“After half an hour we were better and dominant and let the ball do the work.
“It was the same after the break – we started and then played well. A point over here is a good result.”
Van Dijk had the best opportunity for the visitors, missing the target with a free header from close range in the early stages.
“I should have scored. It was a great ball in and I should have done better.
“But we kept a clean sheet after a long journey and the only thing missing is a goal.”