Ralph Hasenhüttl expressed both his delight and his exhaustion as Saints secured a remarkable comeback victory against Tottenham Hotspur.
Behind early on to Harry Kane’s first-half strike, Saints rallied after the break with Yan Valery and James Ward-Prowse both scoring again to ignite unforgettable scenes at St Mary’s. At times, it was all a bit too much for Hasenhüttl..
“I’m a little bit tired but very happy for a big performance from the team,” he said.
“I think the second half was a very good one, we believed in ourselves and had lots of situations with the ball in their half. Suddenly, you could feel their nerves and made more mistakes.
“You know Tottenham can always score a second so it was all in from us to bring on two strikes at half time; we had to do it because we had nothing to lose at one down. The second half was our best of the season.”
The comeback was made all the more remarkable by Spurs’ dominance before half-time; Kane’s strike coming before Cristian Eriksen’s free-kick and Maya Yoshida’s sliding interception had both bounced off the woodwork. It was built on a resilience and determination that delighted the Austrian.
“Tottenham were fantastic in the first half and it was very difficult, they have so much quality and if you are not 100 per cent sharp with the counter-press then they will cause you troubles.
“The second was much better because we had more ball wins in their half and more pressure in building up the game, then you could feel we had chances and more impact on the game.
“We knew that we needed more wins particularly seeing our opponents in our zone winning as well. There is still a long way to go but it is important that we took this win.
“(The players) knew that they made a big step and it was very big performance in the second half but they have to know that it is only one step.
“We just have to march on and the fans saw a team that is working hard and they believe in what we are doing. In every moment, you could feel that there was a special atmosphere in this stadium.”