Ralph Hasenhüttl reflected on 2020 as “a big step forward” for Southampton, who closed out the calendar year with back-to-back clean sheets.
Saints’ latest shutout, secured by virtue of a goalless draw with West Ham, took their 2020 tally to 56 points from 34 matches – the fifth highest total in the Premier League.
It was also the first time Hasenhüttl had denied the Hammers victory in five attempts, which just leaves Liverpool – Saints’ first opponents of 2021 – as the only team he has not taken points against.
“I must say it was the end of a very good year for us,” he said after the West Ham stalemate, for which he was forced to manage the team remotely.
“We took 56 points and the final game against a team we have never picked up a point against so far – we always played our worst game of the season [against West Ham].
“The way we play football now is much more controlled with the ball. With a little bit more luck I think we can score, but the final pass or the final decision in the final third is not the best one at the moment.
“From where we were coming from to where we are now, it’s a big step forward against a defensively strong side who are not so easy to score against, and in the past we always lost because we couldn’t defend them well.
“It’s really a good 2020, apart from the general situation of not having a normal life for everybody, but I hope this will come back and we will end this season in a different way to what we have at the moment.”