Football: Saints' Hasenhuttl backs Ings to compete for golden boot

Danny Ings netted a brace in Sunday's (June 28) 3-1 Premier League victory at Watford. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl has backed Danny Ings to overtake Jamie Vardy and win the golden boot this season after the striker netted a brace in Sunday's (June 28) 3-1 Premier League victory at Watford.

Ings glided past two Watford defenders and curled in a low effort in the 16th minute, before adding another in the second half to take his league tally for the season to 18 goals, one behind Leicester City's Vardy.

Hasenhuttl said he would play the 27-year-old Ings in all their six remaining matches to help him finish as the league's top scorer.

"I think everything's possible," Hasenhuttl told reporters.

"We will play with him in the last six games and that means he will have six games to score... if he gets a chance, you see how fantastic his finishing is at the moment."

Hasenhuttl said Ings was reaping the benefits of working on his fitness during the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"He seems fitter than ever," Hasenhuettl said.

"He was hardworking in the shutdown and that gives him fantastic physical options."

Southampton, who are 13th in the standings with 40 points from 32 matches, take on Manchester City at home on Sunday.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.