Hasen­huttl sees size of task as er­ror costs Saints

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By James Candy at Cardiff City Sta­dium

Jan­nik Vester­gaard laid Southamp­ton’s de­fen­sive prob­lems bare as his blun­der en­sured Ralph Hasen­huttl’s reign be­gan with a dev­as­tat­ing de­feat.

Cardiff striker Cal­lum Pater­son pounced in the 74th minute to take the Saints’ win­less run to 14 matches.

It was Cardiff ’s fourth vic­tory in their past five home matches and takes them four points clear of the rel­e­ga­tion zone, while the Saints fall to 19th as their worst run since 1998 rolls on.

“At this level you can­not give the ball away twice in that man­ner,” said Hasen­huttl. “So it is hard to ac­cept that we didn’t get a point, but with these mis­takes we don’t de­serve it.

“It’s all about stay­ing fo­cused, it’s also a phys­i­cal ques­tion. It gets in­tense at the end of the game, which makes it more im­por­tant to stay fo­cused and do the easy things. But the ball wasn’t dif­fi­cult to deal with and I think Jan­nik is dis­ap­pointed about that.”

Hasen­huttl was al­most given the per­fect in­tro­duc­tion to the Pre­mier League af­ter three min­utes when Char­lie Austin latched on to Matthew Tar­gett’s low cross to steer the ball to­wards the bot­tom cor­ner. But Cardiff goal­keeper Neil Etheridge was re­lieved to see the ball flash past his post.

Then Austin got a toe to a Vester­gaard free-kick and watched as it flew over the bar. The Saints’ pos­i­tive start was al­most un­done by Harry Arter, who could only vol­ley into the hands of Alex McCarthy af­ter Nathaniel Men­dez-Laing di­verted Vic­tor Ca­ma­rasa’s cross across the face of goal.

Pater­son was the next Cardiff player to have a clear chance, but he failed to make a solid con­tact with the ball mo­ments af­ter Sean Mor­ri­son left Vester­gaard for dead.

Hasen­huttl’s half-time team talk clearly had the de­sired ef­fect as Southamp­ton came rac­ing out of the blocks.

The man­ager thought his side should have had a penalty on the hour mark when Stu­art Armstrong tripped over Ca­ma­rasa’s out­stretched leg, but Jonathan Moss waved away the ap­peals.

The Aus­trian’s protests turned to de­spair when the scale of their de­fen­sive prob­lems were ex­posed with 16 min­utes re­main­ing.

Joe Ben­nett won the ball back in mid­field be­fore Ca­ma­rasa sent it into the Southamp­ton half. Pater­son gave chase to the seem­ingly lost cause while Ca­ma­rasa reeled in pain af­ter be­ing lev­elled by Oriol Romeu.

Moss sig­nalled ad­van­tage de­spite the sit­u­a­tion look­ing un­der con­trol, until Vester­gaard stum­bled over the ball to al­low the Scot­tish for­ward to go clear through on goal and beat McCarthy with a shot that drib­bled over the line.

Warnock rev­elled in his Cardiff side prov­ing the doubters wrong. “I’m some­times crit­i­cal of ref­er­ees,” the man­ager said. “But I have to pay credit to Jonathan Moss. I don’t think any other ref would have played that ad­van­tage for us for the goal. It was a fan­tas­tic de­ci­sion and I’ve got to say a big thank you.”

New voice: Southamp­ton man­ager Ralph Hasen­huttl urges his team on

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