RALPH Hasenhuttl says Armando Broja was “a slow starter” at Saints in the wake of his impressive show against West Ham, admitting: “In the beginning he was a little, I don’t want to say lazy, but didn’t show his qualities.”

Slough-born Albanian international Broja was introduced in place of Adam Armstrong with just more than 15 minutes to play, and gave Saints’ supporters a taste of what could be to come on his first St Mary’s appearance.

Saints quickly began to get a grip on the game that was slipping away, partly courtesy to a superb solo run and a mincing of Hammers defender Angelo Ogbonna for pace, before Broja's pull-back couldn’t be bundled home by Moi Elyounoussi.

The 20-year-old striker then stood the same man up again, travelling half the pitch before unleashing a daisy cutter that cannoned off the post – moments before his header from a James Ward-Prowse corner required clearing off the goalline.

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Showing he can do it all, it was about as big an impact as a forward could hope to make in a game that ended 0-0.

But Hasenhuttl has revealed exactly why we didn’t see the on-loan Chelsea man earlier, suggesting that perhaps he’d be forced to work a little bit harder than what he was used to under the Austrian boss.

Speaking after the match, Hasenhuttl revealed: “He was a slow starter when he was coming in but in the last three weeks it’s impressive how quick he learns and how quick he wants to do it better.

“On Saturday I have seen why we signed him and why the scouts wanted him to sign and this is good. The first two weeks, I was looking what he has to give for me and I can see now, to be honest.

Daily Echo: Armando Broja single-handedly turned the game around but couldn't find the finishing touch (Pic: Stuart Martin)Armando Broja single-handedly turned the game around but couldn't find the finishing touch (Pic: Stuart Martin)

“I had some very serious conversations with him to tell him what I want to see and he’s been a bit of a slow starter, you need to push him a little bit I think, and now he’s moving in the direction I want to see and definitely shown his qualities he has so far in this moment. This is very positive for me.”

Not wanting to get Hasenhuttl misunderstood, the Daily Echo quizzed the boss on exactly what he meant by ‘slow starter’, to which the Saints manager revealed an honest answer.

He said: “The way we play football is a little different to how he has played so far, a little bit more energetic.

“He was in the beginning, he was a little bit, I don’t want to say lazy, but he didn’t show the qualities he has.

“You come into a new club, you must show that players have respect for you and show the qualities you have, he did this in the last two games coming on against Newcastle and on Saturday also.

“For me this is a very good sign, I think this is what we wanted to see from him and he showed us.”