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NATHAN IS REDDY AT LAST RED; SOUTHAMPTON 3 WOLVES 1 Redmond 2, 30, Long 71 Boly 28; It's a double for Saints striker rejuvenated by boss Ralph.

Byline: HARRY PRATT at St Mary's Stadium

NATHAN REDMOND is firing Southampton towards another season in the top flight - thanks to several heart-tohearts with boss Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Until the Austrian arrived on the south coast in early December, Saints striker Redmond had become a forgotten figure at St Mary's, a huge talent seemingly wasting away.

Once a serious contender for England, the ex-Birmingham forward, capped once, rarely gets a mention these days.

Well, should he continue to perform in the same vein as yesterday - when he bagged his first double in two years - it will not be long before he is banging down Gareth Southgate's door.

Redmond was on target in the second and 30th minute to help secure three priceless points in Southampton's battle to beat the drop.

They are now eight points clear of 18th-place Cardiff and surely all but secure in Premier League paradise.

After-wards Hasenthuttl, who has masterminded eight wins in 18 games, re-vealed how he has had plenty of words with Redmond - ranging from harsh to kind.

The Saints supremo said: "We have a great relationship. I've given him a little bit of everything - sometimes the soft shoulder, others being very demanding of him.

"He's learning he can be the man that makes the difference."

As for the Saints' current position, Hasenthuttl is refusing to accept they are safe.

"I wanted 40 points - until we have that I won't celebrate staying in the Premier League. "This is a massive win but at half-time I was very loud and critical as we weren't brave enough.'' Opposite number Nuno Espirito Santo (left) was in a suitably foul mood postmatch as he denied Wolves were suffering a hangover from that dramatic FA Cup semi-final Watford defeat.

The Portuguese rapped: "I understand the question but no, we have to look at different things. We had time to recover.

"Today Southampton were better than us in almost every situation. It was a bad game, a bad performance. We have to regroup, analyse and react." Wolves have now gone five games on the road without a win but prickly Espirito Santo was not impressed when quizzed about that.

"Oh, come on! How many home games have we won in that time?" he snapped before exiting.

One ingredient still missing from Redmond's markedly improved game has been regular goals, according to Hasenhuttl. So, the boss must have been delighted to see the hitman arrive at the nearpost to fire home first-time after exactly 100 seconds.

Josh Simms, on loan at Reading before being recalled in January, was freed by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and delivered a pin-point cross for Redmond to finish. But it was clear the Saints would need to score again to take the points.

As it proved when Wolves equalised on 28 minutes. It was a simple goal, Joao Moutinho's corner being met powerfully by defender Willy Boly.

But Saints were not to be undone - Danny Ings slipped in Redmond who restored the advantage.

The Saints grabbed a killer third on 71 minutesthrough sub Shane Long.

SOUTHAMPTON: Gunn 7, Bednarek 7, Yoshida, 8, Vestergaard 7, Bertrand 7, Valery 7, Ward-Prowse 7, Hojbjerg 7, Sims 8 (Romeu 61, 7), Redmond 9, Ings 7 (Long 61, 7) Subs not used: McCarthy, Stephens, Austin, Armstrong, Targett.

WOLVES: Patricio 6, Saiss 5, Coady 5, Boly 6, Doherty 5 (Traore 60, 6), Dendoncker 6, Neves 6, Moutinho 6, Otto 5, Jota 6, Jimenez 5 (Gibbs-White 69, 6.) Subs not used: Bennett, Cavaleiro, Costa, Ruddy, Vinagre

MAN OF THE MATCH: Nathan Redmond. Gave the Wolves defence a truly torrid afternoon from start to finish.

REFEREE: Jonathan Moss 8.

CAPTION(S):

SMILES BETTER Nathan Redmond celebrates scoring the second goal and joins team-mates to salute the crowd at the final whistle

off the mark Nathan Redmond scores Southampton's first goal
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 14, 2019
Words:632
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