‘Absolutely deserved’ - Hasenhuttl relieved Saints shook off slow start against City
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Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl believes his team’s superior fitness was key in a comfortable victory at Carrow Road.
City made a flying start, which soon faded, and Saints grew into the game, eventually taking control thanks to three second-half goals, from Danny Ings, Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond.
“In the end, the result was absolutely deserved,” said Hasenhuttl. “We didn’t have a very good start and we had to find our way in the game, but it was getting better and better as the game went on.
“It was not so easy for us in the beginning. We also had good chances in the first half, but the last pass or last dribble wasn’t so perfect.
“After the break, Ingsy made the opener and then we had massive chances and good finishing.
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“You see that I have very fit players at the moment and this is what we need at this intense time.
“I didn’t have the feeling that one player didn’t have any more power, so there was no reason to change.
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“When you have five subs, it doesn’t mean you have to do it. I did it, yes, but when everything is functioning good you don’t need to change.”
Ings told Sky Sports afterwards: “It was good fun, it was great to be back. It’s been a long time due to what’s been going on worldwide, which is understandable.
“To be back out here was great and hopefully we brought joy to the nation as well.
“With the strange environment that we’re in it’s all about adapting and I thought we did that very well. It was a hot evening, we had to pick our moments when we were really going to press and I thought we got it spot on.”
Having fluffed his lines with a chance before his goal, Ings was relieved to get on the scoresheet as he added: “In the first half, one hit the bar I was thinking ‘oh no, a little bit rusty, maybe’. It’s one of those things. I’m just happy I stuck in there and got the goal.”
Ings was needed at the other end at the start of the match, denying Tom Trybull at the outset with a fine tackle.
Ings added: “At this level it’s so important that you’re switched on at set-pieces, no matter if you’re a striker or a defender. We’ve got a responsibility and it’s important we fulfil that and luckily I got there before he could put it in.”