SAINTS manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has said that being able to use five substitutes in the 1-1 draw at Chelsea, due to EFL Cup rules, was “perfect” for Saints’ playstyle.

Managers were only allowed to make three during the opening rounds and that was expected to continue.

But a letter from 14 of the 16 teams remaining in the competition, including Saints, brought a U-turn from EFL organisers.

Hasenhuttl used the refreshed powers to introduce Theo Walcott, Shane Long, Will Smallbone, Oriol Romeu and Tino Livramento all from the bench.

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Speaking to the club website after the game, the boss said: “It was a super intense game today so we will have a look, I’m happy we could freshen it out.

Daily Echo: Substitute Theo Walcott saw his penalty well saved by Kepa (Pic: PA)Substitute Theo Walcott saw his penalty well saved by Kepa (Pic: PA)

“Five subs today was perfect for us because we needed it today, that gave us the chance to come to the penalty shootout.

“I think we were really fighting for our life and today I saw players giving everything for this club, this is how it should be.

“It was a little bit easier today with the five subs, playing that intense way like we did today the five subs definitely help you because you need to run more than the opponent.

"But we had fantastic one against one quality on the pitch today.”