Ralph Hasenhuttl believes Saints and Moussa Djenepo got their just rewards for bravery as they chalked up a third win in four matches at Sheffield United.

Hasenhuttl pulled a surprise in his starting line-up, changing to a back five and playing Djenepo at left wing-back with Ryan Bertrand on the bench.

The Saints boss admitted it was a brave decision, and an attacking gamble, which he changed after half an hour with Djenepo struggling as United targeted him.

Moving Djenepo forward had a massive impact and the £14m summer signing produced a stunning goal to win the game.

“First I have to thank my physios that they made him fit for this week because it was very close but they did a fantastic job. Thank you to them,” smiled Hasenhuttl.

“Finally, when he has the ball in these positions it is unbelievable.

“He can shoot and he is so quick and good movements.

“It’s the second goal for him and it’s fantastic and it was an important one.”

He added: “We decided to change the shape after three games unbeaten which is not the easiest way but brave from us and maybe a little bit surprising for the opponent.

“It is something that I demand from my players that we are flexible and variable and it helps us in the beginning.

“We had a few good chances first half and sure the choice with Moussa on the left winger position is very offensive and very brave. He had a lot of good ball wins but when they started to play the long balls in behind him you could start to see it was not really his best position.

“I wanted to be brave and to show them we wanted to take the three points here and he had fantastic actions also in this first 20-30 minutes and afterwards we had a few scenes where we could see he was not comfortable in his position.

“The players showed we were really coming here for taking this win and I saw some good developing steps in what we were working in this week.

“We tried to build up more, we tried to be more in possession and we had very good scenes where we created chances with being in possession. Therefore, you need the best technical players in this red zone before the back five with Moussa and Sofiane.

“They showed they can always make the difference.”

Bertrand’s absence certainly raised some eyebrows but the attacking intent was important for Hasenhuttl.

“I tried to have a right footer on the left side to come inside and create and go into the red zone,” he admitted.

“Moussa showed against Liverpool in the last ten minutes that he can play this position in an offensive way but it was sure a risk but I wanted to take this risk.

“When you have a few players who are flexible and you can change without taking a substitution then this is a team you can work with. Cedric went on the other side and Prowsey on the right and I knew before I could change this and if it doesn’t work we can do it like this. “Then it’s a flexible and variable team.”