Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl explained how he could not watch as his own captain earned his side a point at Newcastle on Saturday.
A 96th-minute penalty, awarded by a VAR decision after a foul on Adam Armstrong, was expertly dispatched by James Ward-Prowse and gave Saints the very least they deserved after a lively performance.
Speaking to BBC Sport in a post-match interview about Ward-Prowse’s execution of the spot-kick in a high-pressure moment, Hasenhuttl said:
"“I have not seen the penalty to be honest. I could not look at it and I was only listening, and this is what you need a captain for.”"
Nerves get the better of Hasenhuttl, but Ward-Prowse saves Southampton
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When Hasenhuttl watches his captain’s penalty back, he will see that there was never any danger of him missing it.
Having seen many great spot-kicks taken by the likes of Rickie Lambert, Matt Le Tissier and James Beattie in the past, Saints fans saw another that was dispatched with confidence at St James’ Park.
Ward-Prowse’s technique is simple – much like Lambert, Le Tissier and Beattie. He uses a consistent run-up with no hesitations, has clearly picked his spot and hits the ball with power.
This enabled him to find the corner and crucially beat the dive of Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman who had guessed the right way. Perhaps best of all, Ward-Prowse gives himself no time to doubt himself in his head and his overall execution was a sign of the confidence he now has as the leader of the Saints team.
He recently signed a new five-year deal that reportedly made him the highest-paid player in the club’s history and he will be worth every penny of his rumoured £100,000 per week if he continues to contribute like he is.
The performance of second-half substitute Nathan Redmond was also crucial in getting a point yesterday too, but Ward-Prowse is the glue of this team right now.