Jussi's patience rewarded at St Mary's

When West Ham United visited Southampton last season, Jussi Jaaskelainen gave a Man of the Match performance to help his side gain a 0-0 draw.

That St Mary's clash came back in September 2013, and after playing just 14 Barclays Premier League games in the intervening 17 months, he was called upon again to shine on the South Coast on Wednesday.

A red card for Adrian 29 minutes from time gave the 39-year-old his first top flight opportunity this season and he was only too glad to take it.

"It's a case of working hard in training, keeping yourself fit as you can [and being ready]," he said.

"I played the League Cup game earlier in the season and then I was a bit disappointed that the Gaffer didn't choose me in the FA Cup, but it was one of those things.

"I just wanted to keep going because you never know what's going to happen, and on Wednesday it happened."

Jaaskelainen had to draw on all his experience to be ready to enter the fray after Adrian saw red for handling outside his penalty area - especially as it was just the second time in his lengthy career he had been pressed into action in that manner.

"That's just the second time in my career I've come on from the bench!" he revealed.
"You just need to keep focused on the bench and it did come as a surprise on Wednesday because you never expect that to happen.

"I was surprised with the experience I have that I was nervous for the first couple of minutes. But that got better later in the game.

"As a goalkeeper it's always better to start the game and do the warm ups and preparation that way."

Jaaskelainen needed to make sharp saves to deny Jose Fonte and Dusan Tadic in stoppage time and now he is keen to help the team again at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

"That's what you need to do when you play at this level, to be ready at any time," he explained.

"It was a great performance. I don't think we had a clean sheet away from home before Wednesday this season, so we did well.

"There's a Cup game coming up on Saturday so now we need to prepare for that game. I'm excited for it."