Southampton’s manager has turned their season around after its nadir and will face Leicester again in good shape
Their manager describes it as “a moment they’re going to never forget”. But just 78 days on from the humiliating 9-0 home defeat to Leicester, Southampton will face Brendan Rodgers’ side at the King Power Stadium on Saturday within the return fixture, having turned their season around in spectacular style.
Ditching a three-man defence in favour of the high-energy 4-2-2-2 formation that served him so well in guiding RB Leipzig to second place in their debut Bundesliga season in 2017, Ralph Hasenhüttl has navigated Southampton faraway from rock bottom three and towards safety after collecting 16 points from their past eight matches. Yet the Austrian, who spent most of the summer in 2013 riding between Borussia Dortmund’s and Borussia Mönchengladbach’s training camps on his all-terrain bike and spying on their sessions with a pair of binoculars when he was out of labor , admitted even he had his doubts about his methods then traumatic night at St Mary’s.
“There was a flash once I also must be self-critical and see that i used to be on the incorrect path,” says Hasenhüttl. “This was the not the way I wanted to play normally. once you lose the trail it’s like with a player – you want to be self-critical and honest with yourself.
“I think you’ve got to seek out the proper decision and therefore the right solutions. then you want to say: ‘OK you’ve got no more stable in going back deeper, deeper, deeper, so you want to return on the front foot.’ This was a brave decision – when someone has got to be brave then it’s first the manager.
“And then the players can follow. But if you’re not brave how can they follow? i feel it’s important that I showed the proper direction again and therefore the players are following.” agen judi bola terpercaya https://www.judibolaterbaik.co
The 52-year-old former centre forward who won eight caps for his country once had an attempt at Chelsea under Glenn Hoddle and had always wanted to manage within the Premier League before he was finally handed the chance by Southampton in December 2018. Having steered the Saints faraway from relegation trouble last season with two games to spare, Hasenhüttl had been expected to create on their momentum. But the defeat against Leicester – the worst within the club’s 134-year history – was stark evidence that something needed to vary , albeit the thought of resigning never even crossed his mind.
“No, never. I never considered walking away,” he says. “I only considered whether my club trusts me and that i want to point out that i’m not at the top of my ideas and the way I wanted to show the tables. I can tell you that we’ve never stopped trying everything and, finally, the success came back.”
Hasenhüttl adds: “A few days ago I had an interview with a German newspaper and that they asked me if I feared I could get sacked after this match. I said: ‘If you lose one match 9-0 and you continue to stay alive you lose any fear you’ve got .’ this is often precisely the moment I even have .