Ralph Hasenhüttl spoke of his pride in the players following Southampton’s 1-1 home draw with Manchester United at St Mary’s.
After Daniel James’s early opener was cancelled out just before the hour mark by Jannik Vestergaard’s powerful header, Saints were reduced to ten men when Kevin Danso was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Scott McTominay.
But Hasenhüttl’s men stood firm in the face of adversity to preserve a precious point, and head into the international break on the back of two wins and a draw.
“I’m proud of my team and of my players. The third game in a week, injuries, the substitute players did a job today,” Hasenhüttl began.
“We were fighting after the conceded goal. I think before we had a very good first 10 minutes to maybe score from our side.
“Things didn’t go perfect but we never stopped believing in what we are doing and that was the key to success today.”
Despite starting the game the better side and pressing high up the pitch with a good intensity, Saints were forced to recover when James struck for the visitors.
And the boss was pleased that his team stuck to their football principles before getting an equaliser after the break.
“It was important we didn’t concede a second one. There were ten minutes when we were struggling a little bit, but it’s always like this when the opponent get a goal
and then they get a little bit self-confidence, more self-confidence and we are a little bit down.
“But I think at half-time I could that feel that this team is believing in what they are doing and we had a good game. We didn’t change quite a lot but a few things we will speak about and in the second-half we were in good positions to win balls and to play good football.
“I think we saw a lot of good build-up situations where we let the opponent run and that gave us self-confidence to score.
“Finally, I think in the last ten minutes it was only about fighting for everything, for every inch and taking this point.
“It’s important we showed this character, this part of our willingness and this is important for us for the future. It’s a big step and a good signal which we take into the international break and then it goes on.”