Ralph Hasenhuttl singled out Josh Sims for praise, saying his hard work in training has got him back into the Saints first-team reckoning.
Sims was an unexpected starter for Southampton in their comprehensive 3-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, and set up Nathan Redmond’s opening goal within two minutes of the game’s start.
It was a far cry from Sims’ underwhelming loan spell at Reading, which was ended in January as the forward struggled to get into the first team despite the club battling relegation in the Championship.
Austrian coach Hasenhuttl says he is impressed in the application shown by the 22-year-old.
“It seems that he had to have some time to impress me, and he’s shown me the qualities I need for my game,” said Hasenhuttl after the game. [H/T BT Sport]
“So then I don’t care if he was a young player or if he was on loan or something like that.
“He had a chance to score and so that’s something else for him to keep working on, his finishing. But I think the system’s perfect for him.
“And he’s not so easy to defend, because he’s small, quick and has good movement. I wanted to give him the chance to play.
“It was really a very difficult decision to leave Oriol [Romeu] out, because he has played three fantastic games.
“But the younger guys showed they were ready for the start, and to have that experience on the bench is a good thing.”
It can’t be said enough how great it is to see Hasenhuttl giving Saints academy products the chance to shine.