Puel - Quality Shined Against West Brom
Southampton manager Claude Puel has said the sides quality and character shone through in the victory over West Bromwich Albion at the weekend.
Heading to The Hawthorns to face Tony Pulis' side, Southampton took the one nil victory with a first half Jordy Clasie goal and whilst we had more possession, Albion had greater chances but we kept them at bay.
Speaking to saintsfc in his post game press conference, Puel was delighted with the performance on the day and he knew victory had been well deserved.
'It was a great performance, getting a clean sheet away against West Bromwich, who are a strong side. We dealt the whole second half with direct play and long balls, free-kicks, second balls. It was very difficult to defend against this.'
Puel went on to say.
'It was a very good first half with quality, and we saw the good spirit and character in the second half to resist and to take these three points. Fraser did a fantastic job and he saved the three points at the end of the game. It was a whole team effort. When we attack, all the team attacks, and when we defend all the team defends. We saw this. Shane Long was coming back to defend, and he produced a courageous game, with fantastic work for the team.'
He ended by saying.
'It's a great result and I am happy. It's fantastic, and I think we deserved this result with our quality in the first half and our character in the second half.'
In quotes carried by Sky Sports he also had praise for the unfamiliar midfield pairing of Jordy Clasie and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg given Steven Davis' injury and Oriol Romeu's suspension.
'It was a good game for Clasie and Hojbjerg also. They stayed serious, with conviction, with quality in training and when they heard of the possibility to play they kept their level. This is important, the squad is fantastic. You can see this today because it was good intensity and quality in the first half and character, spirit and attitude in the second half to resist and keep the three points. It is fantastic.'
With Manchester City up next as we battle to replace West Brom in eighth place in the table, Puel went on to say.
'It is important to take every game step by step. The next game, for example, against Manchester City will be very difficult. But it will be a strong challenge, interesting for this young team and we learn every time. Together, it was a good response after the EFL Cup Final. It is a good thing because it is important to keep good ambitions until the end of the season.'