Hasen­huettl not fright­ened

Cape Times - - SPORT -

RESTOR­ING sta­bil­ity to Southamp­ton’s shaky de­fence is the im­me­di­ate pri­or­ity for the Premier League side’s new­est man­ager, Ralph Hasen­huettl, as he looks to guide them out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

The former RB Leipzig coach has taken over at St Mary’s fol­low­ing Mark Hughes’ dis­missal and watched his side fall to a 3-1 de­feat at Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur un­der care­taker man­ager Kelvin Davis on Wed­nes­day.

Southamp­ton’s eighth de­feat of the sea­son left them 18th in the ta­ble with nine points, but Aus­trian Hasen­huettl said he did not fear the chal­lenge ahead of to­mor­row’s trip to 16th-placed Cardiff City.

“It is tough but I am not fright­ened,” Hasen­huettl told a news con­fer­ence yes­ter­day, ahead of his first match in charge.

“My goal is to de­velop the play­ers as quickly as pos­si­ble. It is about get­ting the de­fence sta­bilised quickly ... The first tar­get is to get out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone. The fo­cus for the near fu­ture has to be move as quickly as you can up the ta­ble.

“I want to put my foot­steps in the snow here ... It’s a bit back to the roots for me ... The step is not the eas­i­est one, but I never want it easy in my life.”

Southamp­ton also face Arse­nal, Hud­der­s­field Town, West Ham United and Manch­ester City later this month be­fore tak­ing on Chelsea in their first match of the new year. Hasen­huettl was con­fi­dent he could in­stil his phi­los­o­phy at Southamp­ton and get them to adapt to his high-in­ten­sity style with time, but was keen to stress that re­sults were im­por­tant.

“It is a re­sults busi­ness and we have to get them as soon as pos­si­ble,” the 51-year-old added.

“We’ve a lot of games com­ing up and if you know my foot­ball it’s about train­ing ses­sions and habits, so when you don’t have the chance to train it can be dif­fi­cult to change things.

“I feel it’s a very phys­i­cal divi­sion. The speed is high and I don’t want to com­pare it to Ger­many, but it is a way of play­ing I like. I think my kind of foot­ball fits well with this league, and I want my play­ers to show it.”

Mean­while, Bournemouth could be with­out Eng­land mid­fielder Lewis Cook for up to nine months after he suf­fered a se­ri­ous knee in­jury dur­ing his side’s 2-1 Premier League win against Hud­der­s­field Town on Tues­day.

The south coast club, who face high-fly­ing Liver­pool to­mor­row, said scans on Wed­nes­day re­vealed the 21-year-old had rup­tured the an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment in his right knee.

“We are all dev­as­tated for Lewis,” Bournemouth man­ager Ed­die Howe told the club web­site yes­ter­day. |

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.