Belfast Telegraph

Mauricio Pellegrino hails Nathan Redmond's impact as Southampton draw

Mauricio Pellegrino praised Nathan Redmond's response to his face-off with Pep Guardiola after the midfielder helped Southampton rescue a point at Bournemouth.

Redmond was left on the bench by Pellegrino at the Vitality Stadium but came on at half-time to set-up Charlie Austin's equaliser in an entertaining 1-1 draw.

Earlier, Ryan Fraser had given Bournemouth the lead just before the interval but Southampton were much-improved after Redmond's introduction.

Pellegrino insisted he had no issue with Guardiola lecturing his player following Wednesday's defeat to Manchester City and he was pleased with Redmond's reaction.

"Am I pleased? Yes, for sure, Nathan is a very important player for us, but after the other day I made six changes because I expected more players to be fresh," Pellegrino said.

"I think he played well and our reaction in the second half was good, especially in the wide areas where we arrived many times making chances."

On whether Redmond felt any extra motivation, Pellegrino added: "I don't think so, it's just a comment, one comment will not change the performance of one player. The most important thing is how we played in the second half."

Southampton have managed only 15 goals in 15 Premier League games so far this season but Austin's form could offer a solution to their attacking problems.

Austin, making only his second league start this term, now has three goals in three matches and the 28-year-old posed a threat throughout.

"The confidence in one striker is something that is really difficult to train or to buy," Pellegrino said.

"And you really need some experience, you need to score goals. When you've got some player in this moment it's really good news."

While Southampton move up to 11th in table, Bournemouth climb up to 14th and five points clear of the relegation zone.

Eddie Howe was disappointed that his side were denied a penalty in the first half when Adam Smith was scythed down by Sofiane Boufal, only to receive a yellow card for diving.

Boufal's challenge was reckless but Smith seemed to exaggerate his fall and his booking means he will now be banned for one game.

Smith told Sky Sports that referee Jon Moss even apologised to him after the game.

"I think it's a clear penalty, I really do," Howe said.

"At the time I had a good view of it and I think if the defender doesn't get the ball he's in trouble because he's committed, he's on the floor. Adam goes over his leg.

"I can't work out what the referee has seen but that's football, you live and die by those decisions and I think he's got it wrong.

"It's hugely disappointing because not only do we not get the penalty but we lose Adam to suspension and it has a knock-on effect to the next game."

Bournemouth visit fellow strugglers Crystal Palace next weekend while Southampton host Arsenal.

From Belfast Telegraph