Ward-Prowse: A deserved point

By SFC Media time Sat 02 Apr Leeds United vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | James Ward-Prowse

James Ward-Prowse reflected on a resilient Southampton display as they came from behind to claim a point against Leeds at Elland Road.

Jack Harrison put the hosts ahead after 29 minutes leaving Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men trailing at the break, with Ward-Prowse netting the equaliser four minutes after play resumed.

“I’m pleased with the free kick on a personal level,” admitted the captain. “But more importantly I think it was a good point away from home.

“To come here to a really hostile environment, the fans are incredible, they make a really tough atmosphere for us to play in but we go through that initial period and we stuck at it and thankful to come away with a good point.”

“They’ve had a resurgence under their new manager and they’re in a good moment of form. We knew the first 20 minutes especially would be tough, we got through that and then it was all about staying in the game. We knew our chances would come if we stayed patient and they did in the end.

“I think they play a really high, energetic way of play so we knew that we’d have our chances as it’s very hard to sustain that for the whole game. We kept at it, the boys dug in very deep and we came away with a very good point.

“I think they’re very similar to us and it’s about not giving them the opportunities that we like as a team when we’re against the ball. We had to play a little differently today, a little more direct and play for the second balls and I think we did that well. It’s a tough place to come but at the end I think we’ll look back and think it was a good point.

With regards to his spectacular free-kick, Ward-Prowse admitted he very nearly applied a different technique.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: James Ward-Prowse(obscure) of Southampton is congratulated by his team mates after scoring from a free kick to make the score 1-1 during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Southampton at Elland Road on April 02, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Southampton players celebrate Ward-Prowse's equaliser (Photo: Matt Watson)

“It’s probably the one position that if I could put the ball down to hit it would be around there so I was trying to think of what the best solution was. I’m confident with the up and over, I was tempted to go the over way and then Jan pulled me to the side and said just stick to your normal and that was enough to just put me into my routine and away I went.

“I think you have to be adaptable in those situations, you don’t want to be predictable. Even though they are accurate, keepers can guess and can gamble but I think it’s good to have a different option.”

With the clock winding down and opportunities presenting themselves for both sides, Armando Broja nearly found the back of the net to give Saints the advantage.

“Armando and Ché up front for me were great, they battled well for the first ball, they were harassing the defenders and giving them no time on the ball. They’re the first line of defence and I think they worked great today and really set the tone for us and we followed that up.

“Of course losing games isn’t nice and you want to stop that as quickly as you can, ideally with a win but we could feel that they were getting a few chances towards the end and we didn’t want to give away any more points. To come away with a point here is a positive result."

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