Hasenhüttl: An important test


Ralph Hasenhüttl was pleased with another productive pre-season run-out against Spanish side Levante on Tuesday evening, as Kyle Walker-Peters's second-half strike proved decisive.

The victory was Saints' third of the pre-season period, having also chalked up two wins in Wales, with some valuable match minutes gained for all involved, as everyone bar Nathan Tella completed the full 90.

The manager was especially pleased to have put on a positive performance for the returning fans inside St Mary's, with an opportunity to see the team in action once again this Saturday against Athletic Club.

"It was an important test for us," Hasenhüttl commented. "It was nice to have them [the fans] back, it was a nice atmosphere. A beautiful evening. We saw a game against an opponent that forces us a little bit more.

"The guys fought for 90 minutes today. Everyone got the chance to play 90 minutes which is important for them.

"They [Levante] like to play football, this is always helpful. It gives us a few opportunities to see what is working well, and what is working not so well. Our transitions were not always precise enough, so we must be a little bit more patient and clinical for making more out of the ball wins. We have two tests this week, now we play against Bilbao and we're looking forward to it.

"It's good for him [Kyle Walker-Peters]. We have very often a full-back in this position. It was a clinical finish and a fantastic goal. Also a very good performance in the defence. He worked well today.

Speaking about the first home outing for summer signing Romain Perraud, he added: "A very energetic guy too, you could see how he was running up and down for 90 minutes. Very lively. Not everything worked 100 per cent immediately, but this is normal. He is definitely a player that helps us massively, we're happy to have him here.

"The others are coming on Saturday; we wanted to give everyone 90 minutes, this was the goal for tonight.

When asked about the progress of captain James Ward-Prowse, he said: "We don't want to take any risks with his knee. It takes times. I'm not so sure that he makes the beginning, against Everton, but we will see. It is important that we have him back fully fit."