Sport

Ralph Hasenhuttl won’t get over excited as Southampton best Premier League

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl played down the significance of their league position after they moved top of the Premier League for the first time in their history following a 2-0 win over Newcastle.

Che Adams gave Southampton an early lead and Stuart Armstrong wrapped up all three points in the 82nd minute to put Hasenhuttl’s men top of the table ahead of this weekend’s fixtures.

When asked how far Southampton can go this season, Hasenhuttl said: “I don’t know. Three wins in a row is what is important for us and let’s have a break now and then come back hopefully the same.

“Then we have a tough game against Wolves, they’re always a very strong side, so it will be tough.”

The Saints last stood at the summit of English football 32 years ago under the management of Chris Nicholl and it marks a remarkable 12 months for the Austrian manager since their 9-0 thrashing by Leicester last October.

“Maybe it’s surprising, also for us,” added Hasenhuttl. “But no, when you look how much we’ve invested, the time and how good the game is at the moment – any part of the game – I don’t think it’s so surprising at the moment.

“We have definitely shown again today that we have every part of our game developing and this is I think the reason why the performances now (are as good as they are).”

Southampton moved level on 16 points with defending champions Liverpool but could be overtaken by the Reds, Leicester, Tottenham, Everton or Wolves this weekend.

Newcastle headed into the game on the south coast in good form, having beaten Everton 2-1 in their previous fixture, but they lacked control and managed just four shots during the game.

Magpies boss Steve Bruce lamented his side’s performance after the match, saying: “I think we gave the ball away in a good area for the first goal, which at this level is something you can’t do, and we did it twice. But, to be honest with you, we were caught too many times.

“We’ve been all week talking about how good Southampton are in that press and they come after you and they come after you quick, and the one thing you have to do is play well in front of them and we simply couldn’t do that.

Steve Bruce was unhappy with his side’s showing (Stu Forster/PA)

Bruce was particularly disappointed that his side could not match the performance level they produced against Everton.

“I think that’s the biggest frustration that I have,” he added. “We weren’t anywhere near.

“You ask yourself why. I think consistency is the big thing which upsets me the most because we didn’t look anything near tonight where we were five days ago.”

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