Claude Puel has urged summer signing Nathan Redmond to keep playing the way he played against Liverpool on Wednesday night.
The forward gave Liverpool a run around all night and didn’t not stop troubling them as they beat the Reds by a goal to nil in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final.
It was he who opened the scoring but easily could have had a hat trick in the game but couldn’t convert his other chances, which suggest that the £10m man is still yet to find his best form.
Inconsistency a problem
Puel expressed his feeling towards Redmond at the end of the game as “happy” that he was improving but “still has a lot of quality to show”.
Redmond impressed at the start of the season while playing upfront with now injured Charlie Austin but has failed to continue that form since returning to his usual position on the wing.
The boss added: “With his run on the first goal it was interesting, and for the other chances also it was unlucky.”
Saints would now hope he can continue to make progress and improve and help them move on up the table to compete for European football.
The Frenchman also said how important it is to “stay with this attitude and play forward” for his progression.
But the gaffer wasn’t just hailing the attacking play but the defensive effort too, this is the second time this season they’ve kept a clean sheet against free scoring Liverpool.
Saints now go to Anfield with slight advantage and if they can hold their nerve they will be on their way to Wembley for the first time since the 4-1 Football League Trophy win against Carlisle in 2010, when they sat top of League One.
Puel admits he was surprised by Jürgen Klopp’s tactics in the recent fixture as he said “they were too difficult to handle” in the league fixture, but “lacked attacking threat” in this one.
Puel confirmed that the problem that forced off Jordy Clasie was only tightness rather than an injury and it was just a precaution change.