Hasenhüttl: A tough test

By SFC Media time Sat 23 Jul Watford vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Ralph Hasenhüttl labelled Southampton's pre-season draw with Watford a tough test, as Saints were held 0-0 in the middle game of their summer schedule.

Following fixtures against RB Leipzig and SK Austria Klagenfurt on their training camp in Austria, the team returned to England to face their Championship opponents at Wealdstone FC.

And, in a game of few chances, neither side could find a way through.

For Saints, it was a second consecutive goalless draw, and while Hasenhüttl – who again went with a formation featuring three centre-backs – was pleased with their defensive performance, he once more highlighted the need for them to make real strides in attack.

"I think it was a tough test for both teams," he said. "The pitch was very dry, so it was not as quick a game as possible I think, but you can also face these kind of games when you for example play in the Carabao Cup, so it's still good preparation for us.

"There's still other qualities needed to be there. I think the discipline was good, but we were again struggling to score goals. We didn't get a lot of chances here, because it's very tight and not easy to speed up the game, but it was ok.

"Offensively, I think we can definitely create better chances and can also score more goals than we do at the moment, and this is what we have to work on."

Hasenhüttl was able to give a first appearance of pre-season to captain James Ward-Prowse, who missed the two games in Austria with a slight injury, with the midfielder featuring for about an hour.

"I think 60 minutes was enough for him today," said the Saints boss, who now turns his attention to next week's home friendlies against AS Monaco and Villarreal. "It was good to have him back and help him to get fit."

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