Proud Ralph Hasenhuttl told his Saints players they had produced a night they would never forget as they defeated Portsmouth 4-0 in the Carabao Cup.

A Danny Ings brace and goals from Cedric Soares and Nathan Redmond produced a crushing victory, which was Saints’ first at Fratton Park since 1984.

It was a huge night for Saints and the 1,981 fans that helped to create an incredible atmosphere.

A delighted Hasenhuttl said: “We will not forget this evening, and the fans too.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere until the end and to score four goals here is fantastic.

“It is more than only reaching the next round. It is about reaching the hearts of the fans.

“I am very happy for them (the Saints fans).

“I knew it was massive game for them and I think we really didn’t start well in this game but the players knew they had to fight for every inch and after the 1-0 it was a much better game for our side.

“After the 2-0 I was not sure if this game is done for us so you never know if they make the 1-2 then suddenly everything is alive again and it gets difficult for you. At 3-0 you know it is done.

“It was a hard job to do but the guys did it well.”

It was certainly a tough opening to the match for Saints who were reeling until Ings calmed things down with his first goal.

“It’s difficult. They had a lot of set-pieces and then two or three chances it is not easy to defend,” admitted Hasenhuttl.

“We were against the wind first half and the balls were getting longer and longer but the first goal from Ingsy calmed everything down and then we showed we got a bit more calm and quieter and we had better situations and more possession and that was what we had to do.

“I was hoping it is coming in a way that you can also celebrate the football and if you see such a game here then you know why football is so popular in England.

“It is exactly what it is. A little bit raining. A fighting game and an unbelievable crowd that never stopped singing.

“If you think about English football then that for me is English football.”

Ings was the hero of the evening with the boyhood Saints fan delivering the crucial goals for victory.

Hasenhuttl smiled: “He played in the position on the left side where he could come inside which was how he scored the goal and he did a great job.

“You could feel he was working absolutely hard from the beginning and two fantastic goals and in the game was very flexible and busy and I think it was one of his best games since I was here.”

With the teams having not met in seven years there was huge anticipation ahead of the match and the atmosphere delivered as both sets of fans sung continuously before, during and after the game.

“It’s unbelievable,” reflected Hasenhuttl. “I must also say they didn’t stop singing after being four down.

“You could feel the tradition that is in this derby.

“I think I have never had such an atmosphere in a stadium so far and I have seen a lot in my entire footballing career. It was a very special game for me also.”