Southampton star Ward-Prowse explains penalty decision against Hull

James Ward-Prowse had to convince his Southampton teammate Sadio Mane to let him take the side's penalty against Hull.

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse has told the club's official site that he had to convince Sadio Mane to allow him to take a penalty against Hull City at the weekend.

Mane had initially wanted to take the spot-kick when it was awarded, but Ward-Prowse managed to take it off him after being told by Ronald Koeman that he was on penalty duty, with Dusan Tadic sidelined. 

In the end, Mane will have been glad he left it for his teammate as Ward-Prowse tucked it away with aplomb, and the youngster was happy that the rapid wide-man trusted him.

“I’d taken a few in the week, Sadio Mané grabbed the ball and I sort of said to him ‘I’ve got a message from the bench for me to take it’ and I was pleased that he gave it to me," he said. 

“I took a few in training, we had a little match and one was awarded in training and I put that one away, so it was good to replicate it in the match."

The penalty strike was Ward-Prowse's first Premier League goal for the club and he will be hoping that he can start scoring more regularly now he has finally broken his duck.

The England youth international looks a fine talent, but he does need to start making more of an impression on matches if he is to fulfil his obvious potential. 

If he can start showing his goalscoring instinct before the end of the season it will only benefit Southampton, too, as they are in the thick of a race for a European spot.

The Saints still have an outside chance of making it into the top-four, but they will need to avoid any more slip-ups if they are to claim a spot amongst the Premier League's elite. 

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