Hasenhuttl reveals most pleasing aspect of Southampton triumph, namechecks star he ‘needed’

Ralph Hasenhuttl Southampton.2022 TEAMtalk1

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl felt blanking the opposition was the most important feature of Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Arsenal.

Saints were looking to bounce back after a 6-0 mauling at home to Chelsea last time out. And they duly delivered as Jan Bednarek bagged the only goal of the game one minute before the break. The Gunners enjoyed the majority of possession and put the hosts goal under constant pressure.

But they could not get past an inspired Fraser Forster between the posts. The result sees the south-coast outfit 12th in the top-flight standings, with 39 points to their name.

Hasenhuttl was delighted with the result and the way his charges adapted to the situation.

“Football is sometimes a strange game. I don’t think we played as well as in the first game against them but we lost that one 3-0,” he told BBC Sport.

“The goal was to get more stable. We had 26% possession. This is not normally the way we want to play, but when things aren’t going well you have to change things.”

And the Austrian tactician confessed that he was more concerned about keeping Arsenal out than the way his forwards played.

Southampton, Arsenal, Jan Bednarek

“We had good moments, but the most important is the clean sheet after six or seven games,” he added. “We’ve played much better games, especially with the ball, but today the target was a different one.

“We have six games left and an important three points today. If you want to end up in the top ten you need to win games, and today was a very important one.”

Hasenhuttl admits Forster contribution vital

Forster made his 16th league appearance of the campaign against the north London outfit. Injury nearly kept the 34-year-old out of the starting XI.

But he managed to make the team sheet much to the delight of his manager.

“It wasn’t so sure he could play today,” he continued. “He had a problem with his ankle. We needed a goalkeeper like him in such a game today.”

Saints will now target a top-10 finish and have a few ‘winnable’ games on the horizon. Next up is a trip to Burnley before Southampton travel along the coast to the Amex to face Brighton.

Crystal Palace will be the visitors on April 22 before another away day at Brentford.

READ MORE: Ralph Hasenhuttl reveals problems talking to Chelsea over Armando Broja future