Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino hailed his substitutions as having a big impact as Saints salvaged a point with a late equaliser in their 1-1 draw away at Burnley yesterday afternoon.
The equaliser was scored by Italian striker Manolo Gabbiadini, who has largely been warming the Saints substitute bench the last couple of months. The goal was also created in part by Gabbiadini’s fellow sub Josh Sims.
The point saw Southampton move two places outside the relegation zone, now lying in 16th in the Premier League table.
“It was difficult,” said Pellegrino as per Sky Sports. “Burnley are a team who don’t concede too many, but we have a good feeling because the game was tight without too many chances for either side.
”The substitutions had a big impact on the team. Hopefully Manolo can regain his confidence. We’ve got 10 games and I need everybody to be ready to contribute.”
A point is better than none, but it’s as amusing as it is sad to hear Pellegrino comment on Gabbiadini’s confidence when it’s the manager’s odd selection choices which would have affected the player in the first place.
It’s the classic underhand way a manager takes credit for a point after initially getting the team selection all wrong. Southampton only had two touches in the Burnley penalty area in the first half.
Then there’s the fact that the players involved in the goal - scorer Gabbiadini and the driving force in Josh Sims - are players Saints fans have long been clamouring for first team action.