Ralph Hasenhuttl sympathised with Fraser Forster and Moi Elyounoussi as their first team recalls ended in disappointment.

Forster was handed a first start in 494 days at West Ham, while Elyounoussi, who has struggled to get in the team following his £16m move to St Mary’s last summer, also got the nod.

They had hoped to prove they can be important members of the side going forward but trudged off the pitch at the London Stadium after a 3-0 defeat.

Hasenhuttl said: “They deserved to get this game because they had also their part in us staying in the league.

“They worked very hard the last month, they set the level high in the training sessions that the others had to perform better than they do and that means they also have done their job.

“I wanted to show them that they get also a chance to show up.

“It wasn’t an easy situation not to play for a long time and then come into such a game. It’s not easy at all.

“Finally I think we are a team and as a team we worked hard in this year and we get to the point where we are safe and then it’s the moment where as a manager you must give them something like a present to show up.”

One of the other motivations for naming the team Hasenhuttl did may have been to assess his squad ahead of what could be a busy summer in the transfer market.

Hasenhuttl is starting to draw up plans with an eye to the next campaign not being yet another battle for survival.

“I think this game is also important for us to see if you are not 100 per cent in shape or full of commitment then it looks like this,” he reckoned.

“It is not a confidence that we have only a chance if as a team we are better than the other one.

“In a one against one situation they have so much quality in this league and then it looks a little bit like this.

“The result of this game shows we were right and this was the right way to have a focus on the back five because we were more stable and had more chances to win games.

“At the moment we have a lot of injuries with centre backs, two are out, so we don’t have a lot of alternatives at the moment.

“We know we have to do a lot of things in the summer to get better and also bring new players in, for sure.

“I can guarantee you that this game only gives us a true picture.”