With a 1-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday evening in the EFL Cup, seeing considered fringe players impress for Southampton was certainly a bonus even if we clearly need further improvement in the season of 2018/19.
Manager Mark Hughes made a number of changes to the starting lineup as opportunities were handed to other players and although some took that chance better than others, we deserved the win really given our stronger grip on the game and ultimately Charlie Austin secured passage to the next round with an 88th minute goal to give us the victory.
Speaking to the Daily Echo to give his thoughts on the game following the fulltime whistle, Hughes was relatively pleased with the debut of goalkeeper Angus Gunn, explained that Manolo Gabbiadini had struggled in the game and talked up Sam Gallagher’s potential.
“Gabbiadini struggled to a certain extent. We’re conscious he hasn’t had game time here and players sometimes need games and runs of games. Some can hit the ground running but others need a little bit more time and a bit more opportunity in the first team to find that form we know they’re capable of.”
Hughes then went on to confirm that despite the speculation the former Napoli man wouldn’t be going anywhere this window, which Gabbiadini’s own agent had confirmed some weeks back as I remember covering it previously.
With the rumour mill still ticking over though plenty had wondered if there was something in it.
Hughes added that he’d be ‘surprised’ if anyone else left now and I’m presuming that applies to Gallagher, but what it means for Fraser Forster remains to be seen.