Belfast Telegraph

Claude Puel urges celebrating Saints to focus on Hull trip

Southampton manager Claude Puel wants his team to quickly put the victory over Inter Milan out of their minds and focus on winning at Hull.

Saints moved to the brink of the Europa League knockout stages with a memorable 2-1 triumph against the Italian giants, who had taken a first-half lead at St Mary's.

The result is set to go down as one of the most glorious nights in the club's history but Puel insists the players have to immediately now turn attentions to getting three points at the KCOM Stadium and recover from last weekend's home Premier League defeat to Chelsea.

"After the game of course, it is normal that all the players, the staff, the fans were happy for the result and the quality of the game against a big team," Puel said at a press conference.

"It is a good thing for the confidence to win this game because I think it was a strong game against a good Inter Milan, but now this is finished.

"We come back to the training session for good recovery, and a good emotional level, leaving emotion (behind) because if we stay on this feeling you lose energy, you lose after all the possibilities to give a good answer, to make a good game against Hull.

"This is important for all the squad and young players to stay calm, recover well and now (have) good concentration about this game against Hull.

"Of course it's difficult because it's the first time for young players to play every three games (in) different competitions, and the games in the championship (Premier League) are always very difficult.

"To play at this level must give a good answer and it will be interesting to see the attitude of the squad against Hull on Sunday.

"It is very important (to win) this game to stay in the (top half) of the Premier League and just before the international break with many players getting selection (for their countries)."

Puel felt Inter Milan's Antonio Candreva should have been sent off after Sam McQueen claimed the Italian elbowed him during the first half on Thursday night.

Unlike McQueen, the Saints boss was adamant he had not seen Inter's apparent attempts to tamper with the penalty spot before Dusan Tadic's saved effort, but nevertheless remained concerned about Candreva's conduct.

Candreva was cautioned just ahead of half-time after he appeared to strike McQueen with his forearm shortly after Southampton were awarded a penalty for handball.

Because Polish referee Pawel Gil issued a yellow card to the Italian midfielder for how he viewed the incident at the time, there can now be no further retrospective disciplinary action from governing body UEFA.


From Belfast Telegraph