May 9, 2018 / 5:09 AM / 6 months ago

Soccer: Late Swansea hotel switch motivated Southampton - Hughes

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City v Southampton - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - May 8, 2018 Southampton manager Mark Hughes before the match REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

(Reuters) - Southampton manager Mark Hughes said the last-minute cancellation of a hotel booking ahead of their Premier League survival battle against Swansea City on Tuesday had given the team extra motivation to win at the Liberty Stadium.

Substitute Manolo Gabbiadini’s scrappy goal after 72 minutes settled a tense clash in South Wales that helped Southampton take a big step towards top-flight safety.

A day before the game, Southampton had been forced to swap hotels from one near the stadium to another near Cardiff due to the threat of a virus.

“I’m not for one minute suggesting that Swansea City had anything to with that,” Hughes said.

“I think it may be overzealous Swansea fans in a position to affect our hotel booking, maybe. But you can use those things to your benefit and use them as a motivating factor.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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