Ralph Hasenhuttl: Southampton 'not safe yet' following last minute Watford goal

Late heartbreak for Saints after Long breaks PL record early doors

Ralph Hasenhuttl is refusing to believe that his side are safe from the drop just yet, after Southampton blew the perfect opportunity to obtain a much needed win over Watford on Tuesday night.

Shane Long initially put the visitors in front within the first eight seconds of the match, when he blocked Craig Cathcart's aerial pass before chipping it over goalkeeper Ben Foster - setting a new Premier League record as the fastest goal ever scored.

The relegation-threatened southerners have now bridged the gap between themselves and 18th-placed Cardiff City to six points, but will be kicking themselves after allowing Andre Gray to sneak a late equaliser as a win would have all but cemented their position in the top flight again next season.

"We have 37 points and until we have 40 we do not speak about being safe," said Hasenhuttl after the game.

Saints went close to doubling their advantage in the first half, hitting the post twice, but it was the hosts who looked the most dangerous after the break, creating several chances which ultimately fell on deaf ears.

Gray then took his chance right at death, rifling a shot past Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn at the near post, ensuring Watford's quest for a seventh-place finish remains firmly in contention heading into the final three weeks of the campaign.

Though Hasenhuttl will have been disappointed with the manor in which Southampton dropped points at Vicarage Road, he is still happy with the progress being made at St Mary's.

"Now we have a home game against Bournemouth. If you'd told me that we'd have a chance to secure safety in that game when I took over, I'd have taken that," added the Austrian.

Saints host Eddie Howe's Cherries this Saturday knowing that a win will secure their Premier League status, before travelling to West Ham in ten days time. Rock-bottom Huddersfield Town then visit St Mary's on the season's final day next month in a clash you'd heavily fancy Southampton winning.

As for Watford, their hunt for Europa League football is still firmly on the cards. The Hornets sit seventh as things stand, a point ahead of Everton heading into this Saturday's crunch clash with fellow top-seven candidates Wolves.

Javi Gracia's outfit then travel to Chelsea on 5 May before hosting West Ham on the season's final day a week later. Focus will then turn to the FA Cup final, where Watford will be looking to cause an upset against Pep Guardiola's treble-chasing Manchester City.

fastest goals
Shane Long's goal last night broke Ledley King's long-standing record.

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