Hasenhüttl hails reaction to "horrible" first half

By SFC Media time Sun 24 Apr Brighton vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Ralph Hasenhüttl was pleased with the way his Southampton side bounced back from a nightmare first half to claim a point at Brighton.

Having fallen behind to Danny Welbeck’s poacher’s goal inside two minutes, Saints then lost Tino Livramento to a serious-looking injury after the defender had struck the post from distance.

To compound matters, Mohammed Salisu inadvertently put through his own net on 44 minutes, but there was still time for James Ward-Prowse to throw Saints a lifeline with the 14th free-kick of his Premier League career just before the interval.

An improved second half then saw Saints get on top of their hosts, deservedly equalising through a sweet strike from Ward-Prowse from open play, ensuring a share of the spoils at the Amex Stadium.

“It was an intense one, I think,” Hasenhüttl reflected. “We had a horrible first half – anything that can happen, happened: a bad injury, conceding an early goal, a shot against the post when we could’ve made the equaliser.

“Everything that can go wrong went wrong, although I must say the game was not that bad – in the first half we had some good moments, and what we wanted to do was ok, but the goal from Prowsey before half time definitely helped us to have a different mood in the dressing room.

“Then we kept on going with what we tried to do in the first half. In the second half it was better – the belief was there, we were very intense, we had early pressure on the ball, every time very early ball wins and they couldn’t play football.

“We played to our goal – where our fans were – and it felt a little bit like a home game, to be honest, in this moment. The reaction was fantastic – it was one of our best second halves of the season on the road, I think.

we all know he is the best in the world from free-kicks.

ralph hasenhüttl
on saints skipper james ward-prowse

“We had one day less to recover but you couldn’t feel in the second half that we were more tired than they were, so I think it was good to show this reaction, definitely, and it was needed for our fans and for us as a club.”

Hasenhüttl also paid tribute to his captain, who is now within four of David Beckham’s Premier League record of 18 goals scored from direct free-kicks.

“We all know he is the best in the world from free-kicks and he will be, in the future, the best in the Premier League, for sure,” he said of Ward-Prowse.

“We had a lot of deliveries, I think we had 18 shots on goal – not on target but on goal, so this was a good performance.”

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