Belfast Telegraph

Southampton boss Claude Puel thrilled to get up and running in Premier League

Southampon 1 Swansea City 0

By Andy Sims

Claude Puel was relieved to end his wait for a first Premier League win as Southampton manager.

Charlie Austin climbed off the bench to secure a 1-0 victory over Swansea to lift Saints out of the bottom three.

Austin, back among the substitutes despite his two-goal heroics in the Europa Cup win over Sparta Prague on Thursday evening, watched his team-mates spurn a host of chances.

Nathan Redmond was the chief culprit with some glaring misses, including one from just eight yards. But Austin had been on for just 10 minutes - and already hit the crossbar - when he controlled Dusan Tadic's deflected cross and hammered it into the net.

"It's a good feeling," admitted Puel. "Also it's very important for my players. It's difficult when you don't score from all those chances. But congratulations to my players - they kept a good attitude, a good spirit and a good structure.

"To finish with a victory is very important for confidence."

Swansea, by contrast, did not look united, with boss Francesco Guidolin forced to deny more apparent rifts with his players.

After last week's public fall-out with Neil Taylor, having hauled him off before half-time against Chelsea - he was left out of the squad altogether against Saints - this time Ki Sung-yueng reacted angrily to being taken off.

"This is not a good attitude," said the under-pressure Italian. "I have to speak with him.

"I respect all my players, the relationship is important. There is no problem. In this squad I have good guys, good players, there is no problem with the relationship. I can understand it, but it's not a good situation.

"There is no problem with Neil. This time I preferred Stephen (Kingsley). I have Angel Rangel as sub and Kyle Naughton can play left or right so I didn't need another left-back."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph