Alex McCarthy put in a stellar performance as 10-man Southampton secured a crucial point against Leicester City.
With Jannik Vestergaard being shown a straight red card in the tenth minute, it was an uphill defensive battle for Saints at St Mary’s.
After only being reintroduced to the side in Saints’ clash with Tottenham, McCarthy made some vital saves to prevent Leicester from taking the spoils on the south coast.
“The boys are obviously over the moon under the circumstances," he said. "Obviously it’s so tough going down to ten men early on."
“We knew our backs were going to be up against the wall but the grit and the determination within the team tonight was unbelievable. People throwing themselves to make the blocks, it’s a good feeling to come away with that point.
“Obviously there was a bit of time before this evening’s game but he [the manager] obviously wanted us to keep the ball as much as possible, don’t always go forward. But when we do go forward, play through the lines. Just manage the game.
“Going down to ten men early on changes the whole scheme of things.“Obviously it happened very quickly but from what I saw Jannik got the ball. I don’t know how bad the follow-through was, but I thought it was a bit harsh.“The ref said he denied a goalscoring opportunity but I thought that I would’ve got there before him anyway, even though he’s lightning quick.“My back is always going to be up against the wall. It was a case of tightening up as a unit, defending as well as we could and keeping the ball. Obviously limiting the chances they had, I think we did that as well as we could tonight."
On Ralph Hasenhüttl's decision to field Fraser Forster in recent weeks, McCarthy highlighted the team spirit that stands strong within the side.
“It’s been a little bit frustrating but that’s football for you. You’ve got to take the highs with the lows, it was nice to be back in the team tonight and help them get that point this evening.
“It’s nice to make saves but at the end of the day I want to help the team as much as possible.“I’ve not had any conversations with the manager. I’m just taking each game as it comes like I do every week and just trying to help the team as much as possible.“It’s pretty clear, [we want to] finish as high up the table as possible. We showed we can defend this evening - there’s obviously a lot of positives you can take from it.
"We’ve got a tough game next weekend but our ultimate goal is to keep winning games, taking points where we can and finish as high up the table as possible.”