James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond were lauded by Ralph Hasenhuttl after turning in starring displays once again as Saints fought their way to a 2-1 win over Everton.

Ward-Prowse made it goals in consecutive Premier League games for the first time in his career, while Redmond, who has flourished under Hasenhuttl, was at the heart of the second, which was ultimately an own goal from Lucas Digne.

Of Ward-Prowse, Hasenhuttl said: “I asked him to be more aggressive against the ball.

“He is a good football player, we all knew, but I think now he can win balls and work hard for the team and get into the duels. That’s new I think.

“He showed he can do it and I like it if players are working hard during the week and get to earn something on the weekend.

“He played 120 minutes on Wednesday and there was no doubt for me to send him again on the pitch and he showed how fantastic physically he is and that he can score for us. It was a fantastic performance.

“He was waiting a long time for being part of the first 11 with the managers before.

“It showed his mentality that he never stopped hard working and I think sometimes you earn to play the first 11 and if you have this chance you grab it with both hands and he does this at the moment.”

He added: “Reddie (Redmond) is another good example I think.

“It was amazing how much he was sprinting and he also played 80 minutes on Wednesday. He is in fantastic performance at the moment.

“He has great form and is a key player for us and fits good to Ingsy (Danny Ings). Ingsy was a little bit unlucky and could score twice but he also worked very hard for the team. It was a committed good performance.”

Saints seem to have a better balance all over the pitch, as exemplified by the way Jack Stephens was bringing the ball out of defence, even in tense moments towards the end of the game.

“Jack took the place from Maya Yoshida and you think he is playing all the time with this back five,” reflected Hasenhuttl.

“The automatism you can feel. We worked a lot with the back five and found this shape that was fitting perfect to us.

“I think Jan Bednarek, Jack Stephens and Jannik Vestergaard have found each other and they are very good balanced and I think they enjoy playing together and enjoy defending for the team.”

The only slight downside for Saints was the sight of Matt Targett limping off with a left knee injury and Hasenhuttl admitted: “I don’t know how difficult it is or how serious it is. I hope is not so serious.”