Saints Manager Praises Groundstaff

Claude Puel jokingly thanked the Saints groundsmen for their good work after a second “lucky” penalty miss for an opposition at St Mary’s this term, in which they’ve slipped on the turf at the Northam End.

Harry Kane of Tottenham skied a spot kick back in December in the very same place Harry Arter booted another penalty miles over for AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.

On both occasions the turf by the penalty mark has become unstable, with both Kane and Arter’s standing foot slipping on the surface.

When asked if he’d patted his grounds staff on the back, Puel joked: “Yes, of course, I am happy with the groundsmen … I am happy with them two times now! It’s a good thing.

“We are, of course, lucky with this situation with these penalties because the pitch, it’s fantastic, and the work of groundsmen is fantastic.

“I wanted to say to them thank you very much … not just for the penalty though!”

“Perhaps the next time we go to have a penalty for us, it’s the same, it’s a problem,” he added, smiling. “It was a good situation for us, of course, but for the future this will unlikely happen again.”

In his press conference, ahead of the Crystal Palace match at home tomorrow night, the St Mary’s chief was also asked about whether or not he was satisfied with his first season as Saints boss.

He replied: “I don’t know…it is difficult to say, if it’s a good or not a good season. We must see how many points we can win, we will see this at the end.

“Of course we can do better with some games and some competitions but it’s interesting season because all of the players can learn from a difficult schedule.

“They played every three days since the beginning of the season and now they play one game every two weeks, we learn and I think perhaps all of the results are not good for the moment but we stay with a capacity to play good football, for me, it’s always important.

“I’m sure you can continue to improve of course and we see with Nathan Redmond and James (Ward-Prowse) in the national team its good for them but its important to develop all of the players.”

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