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Ralph Hasenhuttl in no mood to let Che Adams leave Southampton

Cambridge United v Southampton – Carabao Cup – Second Round – Abbey Stadium
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Ralph Hasenhuttl warned off any potential suitors of Southampton forward Che Adams after his brace helped earn a 3-0 win at Cambridge in the Carabao Cup.

Adams continued his fine start to the new campaign with a goal in each half to back up his weekend efforts, when the Scotland international netted a double to inspire a comeback victory away to Leicester.

An indifferent pre-season saw the ex-Birmingham striker linked with a move away from St Mary’s but his second consecutive brace means he is halfway to his eight-goal tally from the 2021-22 season.

“Why not (stay)? He is our player. He was last season the second best goalscorer in our team so why should we let him go?” Hasenhuttl insisted.

“He enjoys this position I think, alone up front, in the middle where he is always in the box and there he has his biggest strength.

“Again it was a good message from him to show up here and show he can always be the guy who can score our goals.

“Yeah, he enjoys this position and we know what we have with Che. After a not-so-good pre-season, where he was struggling a little bit for goals, he is now on fire and this is what he should be.”

Adams put Southampton ahead in the 16th minute when he poked home a cross by debutant Lewis Payne.

While the Premier League side dominated the first half, their advantage remained only one at the break but Adams extended their lead 10 minutes into the second period.

Oriol Romeu tried his luck from 22 yards and despite Will Mannion making a fine save, Scotland ace Adams was on hand to convert on the half-volley.

Teenage substitute Dominic Ballard wrapped up a fine night for Southampton with a third late on when he rifled into the roof of the net at the second time of asking on his debut.

Hasenhuttl added: “It was a beautiful evening. It was fantastic to watch. People are really good, good crowd and I really enjoyed to play here.”

Cambridge boss Mark Bonner joked his side were beaten before kick-off.

He revealed: “We sat in the changing room before the game and the highlights of the Premier League games was on. It was Adams scoring an overhead kick (against Leicester) so I am not sure that was great for our motivation!

“But we will be better as a team and as a squad for tonight.”

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