Smith can keep City up - Hasenhuttl

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl felt his side let Norwich City off the hook

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl felt his side let Norwich City off the hook - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Dean Smith is the man to keep Norwich City up for beaten Southampton rival Ralph Hasenhuttl. 

The Saints’ chief rued his side’s lack of a killer instinct in a dominant first half at Carrow Road, before City turned on the power to mark Smith’s first game in charge with a 2-1 Premier League home win. 

“They have chances to stay in the league now and with the good start that he has had, anything is possible,” said Hasenhuttl. “We had a fantastic first half but we must kill them, as dominating only is not enough against a team who are finding their rhythm. 

"Dominating without scoring is not very helpful, it only costs energy. 

"It was clear that with the way the game was going and with the crowd and a new manager, that they would put us on the back foot. It is then when you need to go and get the draw but we did not do that. We must play for a 1-1. 

“When you concede two goals like this, you have a difficult away game to take something from.

"Whether they deserved to or not, they won it. Alex (McCarthy) had the chance to make the save, it was all too easy.” 

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City’s comeback moved them within six points of the Saints, who arrived at Carrow Road unbeaten in four league games. 

“When the teams behind you come closer, this is normal. We know that we are in a battle all year,” said Hasenhuttl. “It was possible to take the three points but winning in the Premier League is more than about just playing well. We must step up, learn and get better in the future. 

“We controlled the game very well and it is always the hardest thing, scoring when the opposition is well organised and you have to play through the lines. This is difficult for every team. 

“We invited them to play by going to a back-five, that gave us more control in the game, all of a sudden, but we conceded a goal from a set-piece, so very disappointing because we did not see a lot of chances from them."