Claude Puel has insisted that Manolo Gabbiadini will continue to be Saints’ first choice penalty taker despite his miss against Manchester United.

The Italian striker had his spot kick saved by Sergio Romero, the third penalty Saints have failed to convert in the space of just five matches with Dusan Tadic and Shane Long missing the others.

However, Puel has faith in Gabbiadini and confirmed he will be on penalty duty again assuming he plays in the final game of the season against Stoke on Sunday.

Puel said: “If he starts the game then yes if there is a penalty it will be for him. We will see.

“I hope we can have a penalty and we will score the next of course because the three last were no good. It was always different players but I have confidence for the next perhaps on Sunday.”

Puel will definitely be without Shane Long for the finale at St Mary’s with the striker having broken a metatarsal. Full backs Ryan Bertrand and Cedric Soares are also injury doubts.

Charlie Austin will feature at some point, but Puel refused to confirm whether he would get a first start since December.

“We will see,” said Puel. “He is available and it’s interesting to see him.

“I cannot give a starting team but I hope he can play some minutes and I don’t know how long but he will play.”