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Hasenhuttl era begins with defeat at Cardiff

Southampton began life under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl with a tame 1-0 Premier League defeat at Cardiff City on Saturday.

Makeshift striker Callum Paterson took full advantage of a defensive howler by Southampton centre-back Jannik Vestergaard to slot in the winning goal in the 74th minute.

Vestergaard made a mess of a backpass and paid the price as the versatile Paterson, who can also play as a midfielder and full-back, pounced to finish neatly past Alex McCarthy for his fifth league goal this season.

Defeat meant Paul Sturrock is still the last Southampton manager to start with a victory, guiding them to a 2-0 win against Liverpool in 2004.

The Saints began brightly and were unlucky not to grab an early lead when Charlie Austin’s flick from Matt Targett’s cross went wide. Austin had another opportunity four minutes later but could not control his volleyed effort.

Cardiff took control of the game and secured their fourth win of the season to move to 14 points. Southampton are on nine points and remain in the relegation zone.

“The mentality was OK. We never gave up today,” Hasenhuttl said. “I have seen some good things from my team, but we made too many mistakes today. We know that we have a hard and long way ahead of us.

“In the second period our performance was better and better. We had a few chances but in this best period we nearly made an own goal. It was a terrible mistake.

“There are guys in the changing room with their heads down. It’s all about staying together and taking the next step in our development.”