MANAGER Ralph Hasenhuttl praised the performance of returning Theo Walcott after his first game for Saints in 5,391 days.

Walcott started training with the St Mary’s side on Monday after agreeing a season-long loan to return from Everton almost two weeks ago.

The Saints academy graduate featured for 90 minutes in today’s 3-3 draw with Chelsea, after a number of meetings with his new manager this week.

And Hasenhuttl was happy his “crash course” in Saints’ style of play, paid dividends for the 31-year-old.

Asked about the performance of Walcott, the manager said: “Today it was more than okay, really. It wasn’t easy for him to step in immediately, do what we want to do and how we want to do it.

“He showed some good running with the ball, was calm in possession.

“We had meetings this week together. Two individual meetings and two team meetings. I think it was a late crash course in these few days.

“But it was important because I knew he was going to start and it was important to give him as much information as possible.

“He showed he has the quality to help us and that was the most important thing.”