SAINTS boss Ralph Hasenhuttl described James Ward-Prowse as ‘a machine’ after he captained his side to a 2-0 win against Huddersfield.

Ward-Prowse played a full 90 minutes for the fifth time in 15 days as he captained Saints to a place in the FA Cup fourth round.

Hasenhuttl said: “Prowsey is a machine, always covering the most distance and never tired.

“He also has a fantastic mind and was also a fantastic captain today. You can always count on him, he’s a very important player for us.”

Ward-Prowse was the only player to keep his place as Hasenhuttl made ten changes to the team that beat Spurs three days ago.

“We made a lot of changes but we had to do this because we nearly played with the same team all the time.

“The only one [not rested] was Prowsey but he can handle this because he is absolutely fit.”

Saints struggled to create chances of note before debutant Will Smallbone opened the scoring in the 47th minute.

“The performance was ok, I didn’t expect them to play fantastic and win 6-0 but we took the game seriously, especially against the ball," continued Hasenhuttl.

"We didn’t give the opponent fantastic chances and scored twice.”

Hasenhuttl was delighted to see Smallbone and Jake Vokins score their first Saints goals.

“We had two young lads in the team for the first time and showed they can score," he continued. "There were some good movements, especially in the offensive transition, and this was the most positive thing today.”

Hasenhuttl felt Saints were unfortunate not to be awarded two penalties in the first half, following fouls on Jannik Vestergaard and Sofiane Boufal, with VAR only used to rule out a Shane Long goal for a marginal offside.

“I spoke with the referee, the decisions were made first time but this is first time we’ve had a goal disallowed by VAR and it did its job,” he added.

“I said at half-time ‘let us concentrate on what we can do better behind the last line’ and the second half was much better; more chances and we scored twice.”