Mehrdad Ghodoussi watched from the St Mary’s stands as Newcastle United took “another step closer” to a Wembley final.
The Magpies drew first blood in their two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final with Southampton after a 1-0 win on the South Coast.
Joelinton’s 73rd-minute goal proved to be enough after VAR ruled out an equaliser by former United academy product Adam Armstrong for handball.
In that moment, the gods were on Newcastle’s side, and now Eddie Howe’s men are 90 minutes away from the club’s first domestic final in 24 years.
Indeed, “another step closer” as Ghodoussi said, is all it is, with Howe & Co are keeping their feet firmly on the ground ahead of next week’s deciding leg at St James’ Park.
“It’s only half-time, we’re 1-0 up, that’s all it is,” Howe said. “We’re pleased with our work tonight but there is a long way to go.
“Unfortuantely in my playing career, I felt so many disappointments from potential moments of success. From my side, I’m very calm and very level.
“There is a lot of work to do.”
“No. I’m not thinking of the final,” Howe added. “I’m thinking of the semi-final.
“We’ve got a huge game to play and as I said, we respect Southampton and the threats they have in their team. We need to make sure we’re at our best.”