Nathan Redmond scored a wonder goal to see Southampton into Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Leicester – but Ralph Hasenhuttl will be happy for a more workmanlike performance from the winger if it means reaching the final.
Redmohnd has been in and out of favour under the Austrian manager this season, and his highlight was a two-goal show to kill off Bournemouth in the sixth round last month.
His second goal followed a solo run from the halfway line, compared by Glenn Hoddle to Michael Owen’s famous goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup.
Ralph Hassenhuttl has said what he wants from Southampton’s Nathan Redmond on Sunday
The midfielder drove the Saints to the FA Cup semi-final with a double against Bournemouth
Hasenhuttl admitted at the time that he had not seen Owen’s goal, and although he admires it now, is more concerned that Redmond gets the basics right against Brendan Rodgers’ men on Sunday.
Asked if Wembley is the sort of stage for Redmond to showcase his skills again, Hasenhuttl said: ‘I was never asking him to show the extraordinary. I was asking him to do the basics. These basics are working hard for the team, chasing every ball.
‘If you do that, that’s when you automatically come back to the qualities he has, which are enough to be a very good Premier League player. But if you don’t work enough for the team, then it’s impossible for anybody to play at the highest level.
‘Opponents are too strong. If you stop trying to go against them, stop trying to beat them one against one, then you lose before you try.
Hassenhuttl wants Redmond to get the basics right, and is less worried about the spectacular
The Englishman has been in good form coming into the Wembley showdown with Leicester
‘He has turned this round in the last few games and this weekend, when he gets the chance to play, hopefully he will do it again.’
Not that Hasenhuttl trusts anything to luck. Unlike some managers, he has no time for superstition:
‘I try never to be superstitious because it’s for me a kind of weakness,’ he says.
‘When you think about putting your left shoe on, and then your right shoe, if this is the key to winning or losing, then I think you have not done everything right before the game so I try more to concentrate on the facts and on the things I definitely want to improve.
‘But football is sometimes a game of being in the right moment, having a little bit of luck as well. I wasn’t the most lucky manager in the cup competitions so far. Maybe this year is the complete opposite.’