RALPH Hasenhuttl revealed how making an early substitution as well as using Leeds United as an “example” helped Saints avoid another capitulation at the hands of Leicester City. Asked if he had been fearing the worst after 10 minutes on Friday night, with James Maddison standing over a free-kick just outside the box following Vestergaard’s dismissal,
Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “I thought it was a penalty and then it would be even more difficult! But when you see the scene and you see the red card and you know that it was an absolutely wrong decision, we deserved to get something. I had a very good feeling before the game to be honest. We were (last week) very concentrated in the sessions. We were motivated, we tried to play football more and we deserved to get something because of the way we fought.”
Discussing lessons learned from the previous 9-0 losses, in particular the decision to replace Nathan Tella with defender Mohammed Salisu after 15 minutes,
Ralph Hasenhuttl added: “We must react quicker. This is what I have learned and also the way we were defending was a little bit more man-oriented in that moment. This is also something we have discussed, in and around the box. I think this in the end made the difference.”
Hasenhuttl also revealed how he had taken inspiration from the way Leeds United stunned Manchester City to win 2-1 at Etihad Stadium last month, despite being reduced to 10 men in the first half. Quizzed on if Saints had been working on playing with a man less,
Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “Not really, but I think there are some good examples this season from teams that were working with one man down and still getting a result. I think Leeds was a good example against Man City, how they defended. Sure, you can definitely then copy them a little bit. And then finally I think it is still not possible to defend everything, but suddenly you are in the lead and after the equaliser it was even more difficult because then you know that the opponent gets a lift. But we were fighting until the end and it was great to see the guys the doing this.”
Further discussing what he took from Leeds’s performance at the Etihad,
Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “It’s just what I in that moment see as an example. We did not speak about this game or something. But it is still possible, also against the strong sides, when you do it committed that you can defend and you can take something in such a game also. You see when we score the first goal, suddenly you have the chance for three points. They (Leeds) also scored the winning goal against Man City with 10 men.”
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