Sims shows hard work is the route to saints XI – Hasenhuttl
Ralph Hasenhuttl claims Josh Sims has set the example to Southampton’s youngsters that they will be given a chance if they work hard.
The Saints’ boss rewarded the 22-year-old academy product with his first Premier League start on Saturday and he repaid the faith shown in him by laying on Nathan Redmond’s first goal in Saints’ 3-1 win over Wolves.
It is a far cry from earlier in the season when Sims’ early promise had stalled to the point that Championship strugglers Reading sent him back to Saints from a loan stint in January.
Hasenhuttl jumped at the chance to work with the pacy starlet, though, with that effort bearing fruit in Saturday’s pivotal performance at St Mary’s.
‘It seems that he had to have some time to impress me, and he’s shown me the qualities I need for my game,’ said Hasenhuttl.
‘So then I don’t care if he was a young player or if he was on loan or something like that.
‘He had a chance to score and so that’s something else for him to keep working on, his finishing.
‘But I think the system’s perfect for him.
‘And he’s not so easy to defend, because he’s small, quick and has good movement.
‘I wanted to give him the chance to play.
‘It was really a very difficult decision to leave Oriol [Romeu] out, because he has played three fantastic games.
‘But the younger guys showed they were ready for the start, and to have that experience on the bench is a good thing.
‘ The Austrian tactician added that Sims is a prime example that he will only select on training-ground form, in a bid to hand anyone at St Mary’s a route to the first XI.
‘The important thing for the players is to see that if they train well during the week they have the chance to play at the weekend,’ added Hasenhuttl.
‘If they are not showing me during the week then they are not in my first XI.
So that’s what it’s about.
‘Tactically for sure there’s not a lot that I’ll change.
‘But if you get a chance to train with this team, and you show up, then you’ll get a chance to play.’