Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was full of praise for attacking duo Sofiane Boufal and Moussa Djenepo after his side’s vital 2-1 win over Watford on Saturday.
Both players had a big impact on the game, with Boufal lighting up the contest after coming on as a sub and Djenepo assisting the Saints equaliser from Danny Ings.
With trickery and the ability to beat opponents with relative ease, both wingers will surely be crucial components of the Saints team if they are to escape trouble this campaign.
Speaking to southamptonfc.com post-match, Hasenhuttl said:
“Sofiane was important because he carries the ball very well, is good one-on-one dribbling and gets into the box. That gives you a mental lift and gets the crowd behind you and this is what we needed in that moment. When you have both sides with good one-on-one dribbling it helps you massively to get into the box to do something. Moussa [Djenepo] really tried to make the last step to bring the ball to Ingsy because he’s so positive and really wants to win. That’s fantastic for us.”
Despite a performance that saw Saints lacking cohesion and struggling at home once again, the late turnaround in the last 20 minutes against Watford could act as a real boost going into more winnable games.
Norwich City – third from bottom in the Premier League – arrive at St Mary’s on Wednesday evening, whilst fixtures with Newcastle, West Ham, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace all come before Christmas.
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To get the results that they need, Saints will need their best attacking players on the pitch as much as possible.
This means that Boufal and Djenepo – along with Nathan Redmond – will be required to provide the creativity for the likes of Danny Ings, who continued his fine goalscoring run on Saturday.
Being positive in an attacking sense may well be the way for Saints in this upcoming run given that they were left very open in defence against Watford.
Getting more points on the board will then allow them to become more defensively sound against the better teams that they then come up against.
Given the outburst of relief that was seen at the final whistle by the Saints staff and players, this win may well give them the mental strength to go on a run of positive results.
With no less than six Premier League games still to come in December and 18 precious points to play for, getting it right now could steer them well clear of the relegation zone.