Southampton have turned corner, says Ings

SOUTHAMPTON (Reuters) - Southampton striker Danny Ings believes they have “turned the corner” after his goal earned them a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur to climb clear of the bottom three on Wednesday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - January 1, 2020 Southampton's Danny Ings celebrates scoring their first goal with Nathan Redmond REUTERS/Ian Walton

The former Burnley and Liverpool striker produced a moment of magic in the 17th minute, dinking the ball over Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld before firing home.

Ings has now scored 13 Premier League goals this season, behind only Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy in the scoring chart.

His latest effort lifted Southampton to 11th in the table with 25 points from 21 games -- 10 of their points coming in four games over the Christmas period.

“It’s a massive win. To start the new year like that was brilliant,” Ings, who has scored 20 Premier League goals in 45 appearances for Southampton, behind only Marians Pahars in the time to reach that milestone for the club, said.

“We have set ourselves the demands and we strive to be better. I feel like we have done that. This season has been up and down but I feel like we have turned a corner.”

Things looked grim for Southampton when they lost at home to West Ham United on Dec. 14 to stay in the bottom three.

But manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has turned the tide and the south coast club have become tighter at the back while still enjoying the goal threat Ings provides.

Hasenhuttl said the improvement in the home form has been especially important and also praised the improvement in his side’s defensive discipline.

“It was important for us that we start winning at home especially against a strong side,” he said.

“We were always hoping to see such a home game from our side. We did a fantastic job today.

“Everybody was so sharp and put everything on the pitch, and this is the only way we want to play and how our fans want us to play. It’s the first step in the right direction if you defend like a Premier League team. We are defending very well.

“We know we can always score with Ingsy up front. When he has a chance, the chance is big that he scores and it’s enjoyable to watch this team at the moment. If you are brave then you deserve to get something and today we got a lot.”

Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar