Hasenhüttl: A beautiful night

By SFC Media time Tue 23 Aug Cambridge United vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Ralph Hasenhüttl described Southampton's 3-0 Carabao Cup win at Cambridge United as a beautiful evening, with his team not only advancing in the competition but doing so off the back of some exciting performances from a number of Academy stars.

Another two goals from Ché Adams, following his brace at Leicester last weekend, and a late strike from 17-year-old Dom Ballard on his senior debut, saw Saints comfortably ensure their place in the hat for the third round, as Hasenhüttl sprinkled a few youngsters into an otherwise experienced line-up.

Ballard, who was introduced as a second-half substitute, was one of the big positives of the night, but he was not the only Academy product to enjoy a memorable evening at Abbey Stadium.

Hasenhüttl also handed a senior debut to right-back Lewis Payne, with the 18-year-old starting the game and providing the assist for the opening goal of the night.

"It was a beautiful evening," said Hasenhüttl, who also sent young forward Diamond Edwards on for a debut in the closing moments. "The crowd was fantastic. A good result, with some good moments for our young players who for the first time had a chance to play, so it was a good evening.

"We need to take such games very seriously and this is what we tried today, and I think it looked quite ok. We tried to stress them from the first moment on and then the goals were only a question of time, but you must always be careful that you don't concede. It was good, and a clean sheet today. Congrats to the defence, not giving a lot of moments to score or come in our box. Overall, a very serious performance."

On Payne's performance, Hasenhüttl added: "A good assist for a goal and also in the defence we know he is a solid right-back. He plays this position in the under-23s and it's good to see him doing a good job."

And on Ballard the Saints boss said: "He likes to score, he's there, he wants to go, he wants to enter the box and score goals there and this is exactly what we like to see from him and he is absolutely a positive mentality player I think. He enjoys what he does, he invests a lot and this is good to see."

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