Hasenhüttl: We couldn't find an extra gear

By SFC Media time Tue 18 May Saints v Leeds United
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Ralph Hasenhüttl admitted Leeds found an extra gear that his Southampton side did not have after the visitors scored twice in the last 20 minutes to take the points at St Mary’s.

Saints bossed the first half, buoyed by the return of 8,000 fans spread around the stadium, but were unable to convert pressure into goals and went in 0-0 at the break.

James Ward-Prowse then clipped the woodwork from a trademark free-kick, but Patrick Bamford broke the deadlock on 73 minutes before Tyler Roberts wrapped up the victory in stoppage time as Leeds finished strongly.

“I think we had a very good first half,” Hasenhüttl reflected. “We used a lot of energy to create chances but you must take advantage by going in the lead, which would help you a little bit more.

“In the second half, they had a better start and the game was neutralised until they scored the first goal. Then it seemed that they had another gear that we didn’t have.

“We still had moments we could score, a few good creative moments until the final third, but in and around the box the last decision and the last creative pass was not there against a good defending team, so this was the reason why we didn’t score for the first time in three games.

“Finally, it’s a pity, but we tried. We were a little bit closer than in the first game, but we couldn’t do it.”

The manager felt his team’s bright start was inspired by the noisy home support, and rued the fact Saints were not able to reward that encouragement from the stands with the opening goal.

“I think they (the fans) definitely carried us for the whole first half, and it would be perfect when you score in such a moment, but that was missing,” he added.

“It’s a pity that we didn’t give them the win today because they were fantastic; they deserved it.

“You could feel in the first 45 minutes it was very emotional – it was very new for the players, and also for us on the outside it felt completely new. It’s a different game with the fans.”

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