RALPH Hasenhuttl insisted Che Adams showed a “good message” with a second consecutive brace, scoring twice to fire Saints through 3-0 in the EFL Cup.

The Scot scored in both halves of the contest with League One Cambridge United, before 17-year-old Dom Ballard stole the headlines with a goal on his first-team debut.

Adams also netted twice during the 2-1 comeback win over Leicester City on Saturday, having not scored since February in competitive matches or pre-season friendlies.

And asked if Adams is now the focal point for this Saints side, Hasenhuttl responded: "Yeah, he enjoys this position I think, alone up front in the middle.

“He’s always alone in the box and this is where he has his strengths. This is a good message from him to show up here, show that he is always the guy here who can score his goals.

“We know what we have with Che and after a not so good pre-season, he is now on fire."

Adams had been subject to rumours of interest from Premier League rivals Everton, who were said to be keen on a loan-to-buy move for the 26-year-old.

Asked if he wants Adams to stay at St Mary’s, Hasenhuttl responded: "Why not?

“He is our player. He was last season I think the second best goal scorer in our team. Why should we let him go?"

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