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21 June 2020 02:37

Southampton F.C. Ralph Hasenhüttl James Ward-Prowse

Video 'Absolutely deserved' - Hasenhuttl relieved Saints shook off slow start against City Former Canary Nathan Redmond makes it 3-0 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Paul Chesterton Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl believes his team's superior fitness was key in a comfortable victory at Carrow Road. Share Email this article to a friend To send a link to this page you must be logged in. City made a flying start, which soon faded, and Saints grew into the game, eventually taking control thanks to three second-half goals, from Danny Ings, Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond. "In the end, the result was absolutely deserved," said Hasenhuttl. "We didn't have a very good start and we had to find our way in the game, but it was getting better and better as the game went on.

"It was not so easy for us in the beginning. We also had good chances in the first half, but the last pass or last dribble wasn't so perfect. "After the break, Ingsy made the opener and then we had massive chances and good finishing. "You see that I have very fit players at the moment and this is what we need at this intense time. "I didn't have the feeling that one player didn't have any more power, so there was no reason to change.

"When you have five subs, it doesn't mean you have to do it. I did it, yes, but when everything is functioning good you don't need to change." Ings told Sky Sports afterwards: "It was good fun, it was great to be back. It's been a long time due to what's been going on worldwide, which is understandable. "To be back out here was great and hopefully we brought joy to the nation as well. "With the strange environment that we're in it's all about adapting and I thought we did that very well. It was a hot evening, we had to pick our moments when we were really going to press and I thought we got it spot on." Having fluffed his lines with a chance before his goal, Ings was relieved to get on the scoresheet as he added: "In the first half, one hit the bar I was thinking 'oh no, a little bit rusty, maybe'. It's one of those things. I'm just happy I stuck in there and got the goal." Ings was needed at the other end at the start of the match, denying Tom Trybull at the outset with a fine tackle. Ings added: "At this level it's so important that you're switched on at set-pieces, no matter if you're a striker or a defender. We've got a responsibility and it's important we fulfil that and luckily I got there before he could put it in." RALPH Hasenhuttl is backing his Saints side to kick on and start climbing the Premier League table. The south coast outfit all but secured their top-flight survival with a convincing 3-0 win away to relegation battlers Norwich. And with games against Arsenal and Watford on the horizon, Saints' manager wants his team to replicate Friday's emphatic performance. "We have another eight games and what I can say is that the team looks very fit," Hasenhuttl said. "We had a physical advantage, and this is important because it's an intense time and we now have a home game against Arsenal. "They are a good team and will be interesting. We are really looking forward to this game. "We always speak about 40 points, so we need another three, but we have another eight games. "We have a big chance to climb a few positions in the table and if we play like we did [on Friday] then this consistency will help us." Due to no fans being present at Carrow Road, Hasenhuttl could be heard directing his players from the technical area. Whether it be encouraging Yan Valery to push on or for Michael Obafemi to look up when he has the ball inside the area, the Austrian was relentless for 90 minutes. But, following a Saints win, Hasenhuttl normally celebrates with his squad before sharing the moment with the club's supporters. And going over the fans is what he missed most revelling in Friday night's victory. "It's not so nice when you win and only celebrate with the people around you," he added. "It would have been nicer to celebrate with the fans. "On the other side, from a coaching point of view, it's a little bit easier because you have more chances to coach them and for them to hear you. "This makes it a little bit easier for me. "It's a strange situation but we must come back to normality and this was an important step." "It's always the same players I'm shouting at – it's not a coincidence! "No, sometimes the players switch off and it's good because you can push them a little bit."