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Hughes makes flying start as Southampton reach FA Cup semi-finals

19 March, 2018, 13:24 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • The Will Grigg pie complete with FA Cup on its crust

"He's a creative player: we need to score goals and create chances", said Hughes.

"This was an important fixture", Hughes said.

"We have work to do in the Premier League, but we will enjoy this moment". "I think today maybe you saw steps to address that criticism".

Wigan had defeated three Premier League teams in reaching their third FA Cup quarterfinal in six seasons, including Manchester City in the last round.

The 26-year-old bossed the midfield for Wigan against Southampton, making the Premier League side look like just another League One team in the first half.

The decisive goal came in the 62nd minute when Hojbjerg converted with a side-foot finish from a Dusan Tadic corner.

Gabbiadini stepped up to take the penalty himself and got plenty of power behind it, but Walton guessed right and made an outstanding stop to keep Wigan in the cup tie.

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The second goal did eventually arrive, although not until the 91st minute, when Redmond played through full-back Cedric Soares, who moved the ball past Burn and carried it into the Wigan area before finishing impressively.

The Latics were left to rue their missed chances when Southampton came out in the second half with more intensity and urgency. "It's a good start for us, but that's all it is, so we have to build on this now".

Hughes has only been given a contract until the end of the season after replacing Mauricio Pellegrino, and he added: "I'm looking forward to the challenge".

Nevertheless, a trip to Wembley in the semi-finals could provide a welcome tonic as the new manager tries to make his presence felt.

The home side went close in the 15th minute when Nathan Byrne's deflected shot drifted goalward but Cheyenne Dunkley was unable to connect from close range.

The chance seemed to inspire Southampton and Hojbjerg had a header saved by Walton shortly before he arrived in the penalty area to stab Tadic's knock-down into the net from five yards after 62 minutes.

"It is a hard one when the prize is so great for a club like ours", Cook said. Sometimes the players' view is totally insular: it's a bit like they are in their own bubble and you have to understand that.

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