Hasenhuttl reveals what draw ‘signals’ for Southampton ambitions

Date published: Monday 23rd November 2020 10:41 - Steve Pearson

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Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl believes his side’s 1-1 draw with Wolves has signalled what they can now achieve in the top flight.

The Saints opened the scoring through Theo Walcott – the England forward’s first goal for the club in over 15 years.

Substitute Pedro Neto hauled Wolves back on to level terms, however, as both sides ultimately had to settle for a point apiece.

Nevertheless, both Hasenhuttl and goalscorer Walcott were pleased with picking up a point on a ground where very few others have since Wolves’ return to the Premier League.

“I am happy,” Hasenhuttl told Sky Sports (via the BBC).

“For everyone it was a tough game, tactically so demanding, it was like chess. They played 4-3-3, we didn’t expect that but we found the answers.

“We didn’t have 100% conviction in the final third but we got the first goal and we think three points is possible but we knew it was a long way to go. It was a deserved draw for both teams.

“There were more gaps because of the way they played but our decisions in the final third let us down. In the end, with the options we have we did our maximum.

FULL MATCH REPORT: Persistent Wolves break Southampton defiance after early Walcott joy

“Wolves have a fantastic squad, they are very convinced about what they are doing. Today was a signal for us that we can compete with these teams.”

Regarding Walcott’s emotional first goal back with the club, Hassenhuttl told the BBC: “It was a good first goal for him. He’s a little unhappy he didn’t make the second one and that he coudn’t be the match winner.

“The way he works for the team is amazing. As a number 10 or a striker you can trust him.

“He’s an experienced guy who comes back to the club where he grew up. It means something for him. Maybe that’s why he invests so much. You know you have to do that in our team.”

 

Point feels like a win – Walcott

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Southampton’s goalscorer Walcott also spoke to the press, and could barely contain his joy after admitting the club remains very close to his heart.

He told the BBC: “I’m very happy with the overall performance of the team. We dug deep. The international break can be unsettling. We worked very hard to get a point. It feels like a win.

“The guys have done brilliant – seven games without losing.

“No, I do not [remember his last Saints league goal]. The smile on my face says it all. The club are close to my heart. Hopefully I can show what I can do the field.

“Our aim is to continue fighting. Who knows where it will go? We’re not easy to play against. Our fitness levels showed.”

 

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