Ralph Hasenhuttl saw first hand exactly how big a job he has on at Southampton this weekend. The Saints were beaten 1-0 by Cardiff City with the defence again coming in for scrutiny.
In particular, Jannik Vestergaard got the blame. The Danish summer signing gifted Cardiff their winning goal, continuing his poor form since arriving at the club.
In fairness, not many of the Southampton defenders have been any better this season. Wesley Hoedt and Jake Stephens have also struggled whilst not many have faith in Jan Bednarek or Maya Yoshida to save the day. Even the usually reliable Cedric Soares has struggled.
So this weekend was the perfect time for a young defender at Southampton to put his name in lights. Alfie Jones did just that. The 21-year-old is currently on loan in Scotland with St Mirren.
At the weekend, he scored his first professional goal, heading home from a free-kick.
His loan got off to a slow start but he has recently started to impress despite St Mirren’s struggles at the bottom of the Scottish table.
Hasenhuttl is a manager who gives youngsters a chance and it will be no surprise if he is at least looking at Jones performances of the past to see if he interests him going forward.
Southampton’s new boss might even consider bringing him back in January if the current centre-backs continue to perform so badly.