Pellegrino praises FA Cup spirit and gives injury update after win

The Southampton manager was dealt a triple blow on Friday as three players went down injured before the trip to West Brom.

Pellegrino praises FA Cup spirit and gives injury update after win
Pellegrino's men are through to the FA Cup quarter-finals (Photo via Getty Images / Matt Watson)

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino praised his side's spirit as they battled to a 2-1 FA Cup fifth round win against West Brom at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

Goals from Wesley Hoedt and Dusan Tadic gave Southampton a healthy two-goal cushion before Salomon Rondon's wonder strike, but withstood a late onslaught to run out 2-1 winners.

Speaking following the win, Pellegrino explained: "I think it’s important for many reasons, the first one the belief of the team to improve and in our way sometimes you can have a good game or a bad game but I think the spirit today was really good and something we were talking about last week.

"From the beginning, even in a difficult situation like today at the end we were there competing well with good concentration, well focused, I think when you play against this side that in physical battles they are really strong you have to make your opponent feel under pressure all the time and we didn’t concede in any set plays which is important."

The Saints were on top throughout the first half before West Brom came out stronger after the break, hitting the bar through Ahmed Hegazi's acrobatic effort before some last ditch defending saw numerous efforts cleared off the goal line.

Efficient Saints

"Football is not to deserve," said Pellegrino. "It’s about efficiency because when you lose and you said we deserve more like the first half against Liverpool I don’t want to talk about excuses but I think today we create problems, the first half we played a little bit better, the second half we were always dangerous on the counter attack."

Southampton were rocked on Friday as three players sustained injuries that meant they were unable to feature in the FA Cup clash and Pellegrino said he'd never seen anything like it before.

He said: "It was an unlucky day yesterday, the day before we travel, Maya (Yoshida), Sofiane (Boufal) and Shane (Long), plus Charlie (Austin), but I’ve never, ever seen something like that in one day.

Three players all with a problem, but it’s part of our job and we have to wait for next week what the doctor says. Maybe a couple of players will come back I think, I imagine, but the other maybe a little bit longer."