The under-fire Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was relieved to be on the right side of fine margins after easing the pressure on his position with a key win at south coast rivals Bournemouth.
Che Adams’ early header ensured a nervous 1-0 win at Vitality Stadium to push the Saints out of the Premier League relegation zone after five games without a win.
Bournemouth dominated the second half but rarely threatened to equalize as the visitors kept their first clean sheet in 17 games in the top flight.
“It was an important win, no question, and I think it was deserved,” said Hasenhüttl.
“We have that belief all the time because we watch the games, we see that there’s a lack of margins.
“The problem in the Premier League is sometimes the margins are enough to concede a goal and lose games.
“But sometimes you have to put the margins on your side and then you win the games and that was the challenge of finding those margins and finding the key to conceding, to scoring that one goal and also by a goal to win.
“In the end it’s a win for the whole group.”
Southampton traveled the coast with Hasenhuttl under intense scrutiny having picked up just one point from the last 15 available.
Top scorer Adams quickly calmed nerves by firing in Romain Perraud’s first cross in the ninth minute to end a goal drought that stretched back to August.
The overdue win put the Saints in 14th place, two points and three places behind their nearest neighbors.
After recruiting 10 new players during a hectic summer revision, Hasenhüttl stressed the importance of patience in the transition period that followed.
“We know we have to fight together as a group after an intense summer transfer window and there are some phases you go through as a club and as a team,” he said.
“We talk very often about the patience we have to have for them.
“It’s not always the case that you have patience in this business, especially when, like me, you’ve been working in a club for a bit.
“Sometimes the patience isn’t – I won’t say the fans aren’t always there – but with all the pressure you have in the Premier League, it’s not that easy to get through.
“But it’s the only way we can do it and it’s okay with me after all.”
Bournemouth caretaker manager Gary O’Neil suffered the first defeat of his tenure in his seventh game since replacing Scott Parker.
O’Neil thought the result was tough and was left at a loss after appeals to a second-half penalty were dismissed when the ball struck Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu’s arm.
“I’m struggling to really answer that,” he said of the penalty shootout incident. “The ball hits Lloyd Kelly in Nottingham Forest, it’s a penalty; The ball hits Jefferson Lerma in Newcastle, it’s a penalty.
“Tonight the ball hits their boy Salisu and it’s not a penalty.
“It’s a tricky thing. I do not know. Hopefully the officials can clarify what it is and isn’t because I don’t see too much of a difference.
“Did we deserve to lose this one? No we have not. But we did it.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/ralph-hasenhuttl-che-adams-southampton-nottingham-forest-premier-league-b2206504.html Ralph Hasenhuttl was happy about Southampton’s relieving victory