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Long on the mark in crucial Saints victory

Leicester City 1 Southampton 2

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Southampton's Shane Long celebrates scoring his side's winner. Photo: Getty Images

Southampton's Shane Long celebrates scoring his side's winner. Photo: Getty Images

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Southampton's Shane Long celebrates scoring his side's winner. Photo: Getty Images

Boss Ralph Hasenhuttl warned Southampton cannot afford to relax despite escaping the relegation zone. James Ward-Prowse's penalty and Shane Long's first goal since April 2018 earned the battling 10-man Saints a victory at Leicester.

Long scored in first-half injury time just two minutes after Yan Valery was sent off for two bookable offences. Wilfred Ndidi's consolation failed to rally Leicester as Hasenhuttl lifted the Saints out of the Premier League relegation zone.

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Leicester's Hamza Choudhury and Southampton's Jack Stephens rise for the ball. Photo: Getty Images

Leicester's Hamza Choudhury and Southampton's Jack Stephens rise for the ball. Photo: Getty Images

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"Every win is very significant, it's an important step but only one. The decision won't be before May, it's so close and there are so many good teams," said Hasenhuttl.

Hasenhuttl has won three of his eight games - the same number in the league predecessor Mark Hughes managed during his 10-month St Mary's tenure. Ward-Prowse netted from the spot after 11 minutes when Nampalys Mendy fouled Long and the midfielder gifted Long the ball to add a second.

"Shane is the best example of what we demand, hard working, good defending and if you get the chance to kill it, do it," added Hasenhuttl. He hasn't got the best finishing record but I know previously he scored 10 to 12 times. I want to bring him back into this shape."

The Foxes were booed off with at least one 'Puel Out' sign spotted but the Frenchman will ignore the critics.

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Leicester's Marc Albrighton of Leicester City and Southampton's Matt Targett battle for possession. Photo: Getty Images

Leicester's Marc Albrighton of Leicester City and Southampton's Matt Targett battle for possession. Photo: Getty Images

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"The fans are disappointed like us and it's a normal thing, it's not my concern, I have to keep my focus and concentrate on the team," said Puel.

"It's a big disappointment, we wanted a good response after our Cup game. We wanted to perform, we wanted to have a reaction and our concentration was perhaps too much. It was a difficult scenario."

Sunday Indo Sport