Ralph Hasenhüttl saw 2020 as “a big step forward” for Southampton, who ended the calendar year with consecutive goals.
The Saints’ last shutout, secured by a goalless draw with West Ham, increased their 2020 record to 56 points from 34 games – the fifth highest total in the Premier League.
It was also the first time that Hasenhüttl had denied the Hammers ‘victory in five attempts, which leaves Liverpool – Saints’ first opponent of 2021 – the only team he didn’t score against.
“I have to say it was the end of a very good year for us,” he said after the West Ham stalemate, which forced him to remotely manage the team.
“We scored 56 points and the last game against a team against whom we haven’t yet scored a point – we always played our worst game of the season [against West Ham].
“We play football with the ball in a much more controlled manner now. I think with a little more luck we can score, but the last pass or the final decision in the last third is not the best at the moment.
“From where we’ve come from, it’s a big step forward against a strong defensive team that are not easy to score against and in the past we’ve always lost because we couldn’t defend them well.
“It’s really been a good 2020 aside from the general situation that not everyone has a normal life, but I hope this comes back and we end this season in a different way than we currently have.”