Saints Boss Martins Russell sends a stunning message as he hails impact from substitute during West Brom’s clash…

MANAGER Russell Martin hailed the impact substitutes have made in Saints’ recent unbeaten run and noted their performances make his job “easier.”

Ryan Fraser scored a late winner against Hull City from the bench before firing the corner which led to Southampton’s last-gasp equaliser days later against Preston.

The Scot was once again influential having been introduced in the second half against Birmingham on Saturday.

He delivered the cross which was knocked down by fellow substitute Sam Edozie to allow Adam Armstrong to rifle in his eighth goal of the season.

Speaking to the Daily Echo after Southampton’s 2-1 win over Birmingham, Martin insisted that it will take every player in the squad to achieve their goals this season.

“I think it makes my job easier to know you can bring people on from the bench to impact the game,” he confessed.

“In every game recently the subs have made the team stronger which is all you can ever hope for. It’s about the right time to play some people or to tweak things if other players look a bit tired.

“That’s the balance. The players all know that they are cared for and they all get the detail. I’m pleased for the players that have come on from the bench and have impacted games.

Southampton have used 23 different players in the Championship this season, the joint second-lowest total across the division.

With Jack Stephens and Ross Stewart both working back to full fitness Saints could be forced to leave more important players on the bench.

Martin will likely welcome the added depth: “We said at the start of the week that we are going to need everyone and I think we have used everyone pretty much.

“I thought Joe Aribo was brilliant when he came on today. He has been so frustrated, but I use him as an example all the time.

“He is a brilliant teammate, he understands his role and I’m really pleased with him. Wee Man (Ryan Fraser) has affected every game that he has come on in. Sam Edozie was good today.

“The squad isn’t huge, but it’s really talented. We need to be able to call on them as and when we need them. It’s the squad that has won it today, not just the team on the pitch.

“It’s been difficult for some because the team has been consistent, but look at how James Bree has done. He was outstanding, I’m proud of Breezy.

“It’s going to take everyone to get to where we want to get to. We have put ourselves in a fairly okay position, but it’s not good enough and we need to keep driving them on.”

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