Silva lauds Jakupovic penalty save as vital moment in Hull's bid for survival
Hull City boss Marco Silva has lauded Eldin Jakupovic's last-gasp penalty save as a vital moment in his side's season, as a remarkable escape from Premier League relegation edges closer following a 0-0 draw at Southampton.
The Tigers looked set to be cruelly denied a vital point in their bid for survival when Southampton were awarded a penalty in second-half stoppage time at St Mary's.
Jakupovic was the hero, though, getting down to keep out Dusan Tadic's spot-kick, halting Hull's five-match losing streak on the road as well as condemning Sunderland - who were beaten by Bournemouth - to relegation.
Hull now sit three points clear of third-bottom Swansea City. And Silva - who has overseen an incredible turnaround in fortunes since his appointment in January - believes that it will represent a huge moment in Hull's season.
"It's a really important moment [the penalty save]. If they had scored they would not deserve it," Silva told BBC Sport.
"Let's not just talk about the last minute. We showed very good organisation, very good football. We controlled the first half.
"I think we deserve the point, of course I want more but it is a very important point for us because it helped us to change our away form and this will give us more confidence.
"We knew before it would be really difficult for us but we had a very good performance, the first half was really very good.
"We controlled the game, had good possession, good chances.
"We have analysed the games and changed some things, our balance, organisation and focus is very important - and this afternoon I think we achieved all these things.
"We play always with risk and big pressure - for me it is normal and I want to players to get used to it and enjoy it."
12 - Hull City have conceded 12 penalties this season, the most of any side in a single Premier League campaign. Spotted.-- OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 29, 2017
Southampton, meanwhile, are under little pressure entering their final five games of the campaign.
Claude Puel's side were underwhelming throughout on Saturday, with Tadic's penalty miss epitomising a lacklustre display, and full-back Cedric Soares acknowledged that the Saints were well below par.
"It's disappointing," Cedric, who marked his 50th Premier League appearance against Hull, told the club's official website.
"We had a low intensity. We got in good positions but I felt we could have done more in our performance. It was not an easy game. Hull City were well organised and are a much better team now and playing well, but we could have done more."