Lage | 'These three points are for the fans'

Bruno Lage was delighted to see Raul Jimenez open his account for the season after the Mexican’s goal at Southampton claimed all three points in a tough match on the south coast.

The head coach insisted it was just a matter of time before Jimenez scored his first competitive goal since suffering his life-threatening head injury last November, and that goal came at St Mary’s to secure a second Premier League win for Lage’s side, while making it two wins from two on the road.

On claiming three points on the road

“It’s very important, it’s three points. First of all, these three points are going straight to the fans because the way they support us is very good. It’s a good environment away in this stadium. They have been there and supported us so much.

“Since the first minute, we started to have chances with Semedo, and that is because our fans support us since the first minute.

“It’s three points against a strong opponent. We’ve seen what they did in their previous games, especially against Newcastle and Man City; the way they press and the way they are solid and compact, and when they have the ball, they know what to do.

“Ralph [Hasenhuttl] has done a very good job here in the last three years, so we knew we needed to be at our best to get a good result.

“I thought we played well before the goal, we had more time on the ball, but we need to keep producing performances like that to collect the three points.

“So, we are happy because we changed some players because we believe these players can give us the right answer, and they did. So we’re happy with everything that happened in the game, and of course, the three points.”

On a goal for Jimenez

“It means a lot to Raul. What we want from a striker like him is goals. But as a manager, every time I look at the things he gives to our team.

“You can see the way he presses, you can see the way he links the game, and we want to see him score goals, especially for Raul, with what happened to him and the long journey he’s had in his recovery. The fans will sing his song because they want good things from him.

“I never put pressure on him to score goals because the way I saw Raul every time in the training, the way he worked for the team, the goal was only a question of time, and the goal has now come.

“Sometimes in the previous games he created some good opportunities, and he didn’t score. But today, with a ball from the goalkeeper, he created his own chances and he scored.

“Football is like that. Every time we are playing against a strong opponent, but he and all his teammates need to continue to work well to bring results for us.”

On breeding confidence with a win

“It’s important for the team, but the confidence comes with two ways; the way we work, and the players are confident in that, and with victories and three points.

“I said to the guys, in the same way that I said the three points go to the fans, in the same way, the three points are important for the players, because they believe in our work, and this is the way.

“The points were important because we were not in the position we wanted to be in. But it’s a long journey, the competition is very hard, and today we played a strong opponent.

“But they need to continue to believe in our work and the results will continue to come.”