Ruben Selles says Southampton are in the hunt for Premier League survival
Ruben Selles insisted Southampton are “hunting” down those above them in the table after Carlos Alcaraz’s winner lifted them off the bottom of the Premier League for the first time since before the World Cup break.
The January signing slotted past the Leicester goalkeeper in a crucial 1-0 win for Saints, ending a winless run at home stretching all the way back to the visit of Chelsea to St Mary’s in August.
Selles’ side arguably hit rock bottom in midweek when they were dumped out of the FA Cup by League Two Grimsby. However, they held their own against a Leicester side also battling against Premier League relegation.
However, Selles believes moving off the bottom is not of huge significance to him as manager.
“Personally I don’t take it as much importance,” the Southampton boss said after a game which saw James Ward-Prowse have a penalty saved by Foxes goalkeeper Danny Ward shortly before Alcaraz broke through.
“For me it’s not important until the end of the season, but I know that it is important for everybody, for the players, for the club, for the fans, to see that we are moving forward.
“It is one position, but we are hunting, and next week hopefully it is one more and that’s the mindset, we are hunting.”
The goal was Alcaraz’s second in as many starts since he joined the club in January. He appeared to injure his leg in the celebration afterwards, with Selles unsure how significant the injury is.
The manager confirmed: “He did that (picked up the injury) in his celebration. For sure he needs to think the next time that he makes a celebration, because there is going to be a next time. It would be better if he did it in a calmer way.”
Brendan Rodgers was left to rue missed opportunities as Leicester were unable to capitalise on their dominance of the ball, especially in the second half.
The Foxes had 11 shots during the course of the game, but none on target. Kelechi Iheanacho wasted three of them, two headers and a shot over the bar, but Rodgers defended his player.
“He’s been brilliant for us of late, he’s been the one who looks like the threat and scored goals. He kept fighting, he kept working but it just wouldn’t drop for him,” the Leicester manager said.
On the game itself he added: “We’re disappointed with the result performance-wise. We created enough opportunities and started the game really well.
“We were disappointed with the penalty, but Ward makes a good save, and we had just a little spell where we picked up the crowd a bit and we gained a little bit of momentum.
“The players reacted well second half, our only disappointment was with the chances we had that we didn’t make the goalkeeper work enough.”