Premier League English

Newcastle’s Steve Bruce hails Southampton, Ralph Hasenhuttl and his high press

Southampton are the overnight Premier League leaders after their stunning 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Friday night.

And while Ralph Hasenhuttl earnestly urged the club to remain hungry as he addressed the media at full time, Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has revealed his frustration that his side were unable to go toe-to-toe with Southampton on Friday night.

The Magpies’ Theo Walcott came close to scoring his first goal back at Southampton but was denied what looked to be an obvious penalty during the second half.

Stuart Armstrong and Che Adams were both strongly on target for Saints and it could have been four or five on the night but the Saints were still able to press on enough to win, dominating the midfield and slamming the door in the face of the Magpies.

“That was very difficult,” Bruce said as he addressed the media at full-time.

“The first goal summed us up, we gifted it to them. You cannot do that at this level.

“To be honest, we were caught too many times [by Southampton’s press].

“We’ve been all week talking about how good they are, that press, they come after you quickly and the one thing you have to do is play off the front and we couldn’t do that up against them.”

Hasenhuttl was in obvious delight at full time as he spoke to the media, congratulating his players and staff for helping to guide the club to the top of England’s top division for the first time since 1988.

“Amazing what my team does in the moment,” he said. “Congratulations to everyone. They are amazing.”

“It is a little bit scary what we are doing at the moment but it is maybe not surprising with how we are working.”