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Ralph Hasenhuttl says Southampton rise is ‘scary but not surprising’

Ralph Hasenhuttl heaped praise on his players after Southampton moved top of the Premier League, but admits his side’s rise has not come as a surprise to him.

Saints moved top of the Premier League for the first time in their history after beating Newcastle 2-0 at St Mary’s on Friday night. A seventh-minute strike from Che Adams gave the home side an early lead and they wrapped up victory in the 82nd minute through Stuart Armstrong.

A year ago, Southampton sat in the bottom three of the Premier League, but the Austrian believes his side are now showing their development and the fruits of their investment both away from the pitch and on the training ground, away from the pressure of playing in front of supporters.

Image: Ralph Hasenhuttl shakes hands with Adams at the final whistle

“It’s amazing what my team does in the moment,” he told Sky Sports. “Congratulations to everybody around the pitch and the team. Amazing. We could maybe have scored more but the rest was perfect. Everybody was on the highest level. It is a little scary what we are doing at the moment to be honest but not surprising when I see what we are working on.

“Earlier, we could have closed the game, earlier. That was definitely possible. The way we played through lines was fantastic to watch. We can then make the last pass and final decision even better but this is criticism on a high level. We know it’s not so easy to create a lot of chances against these teams.

“We’re a strong side and this is not a coincidence as we’ve developed every part of our game. Our game management has been very brave and I feel it has helped us in some situations where there’s no crowd in the stadium so we can develop our game, as there’s not so much stress now, and we’ve got…

Ben Grounds

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