Hasen­huttl: I will blow the guys’ minds

Man­ager aims to bring new in­ten­sity to Saints Aus­trian vows to de­liver ‘pas­sion­ate foot­ball’

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Football - Molly Mcel­wee

Hasen­huttl, the new Southamp­ton man­ager, says his train­ing meth­ods will be “mind-blow­ing” for the play­ers, as he looks to make his mark on the Premier League.

The Aus­trian yes­ter­day faced the press for the first time since his ap­point­ment on Wed­nes­day, and gave a glimpse of the char­ac­ter that pro­pelled his RB Leipzig team to Cham­pi­ons League foot­ball after just one sea­son in the Bun­desliga.

Hasen­huttl, 51, said im­ple­ment­ing his in­tense train­ing ap­proach and mind­set im­me­di­ately at Southamp­ton was how he in­tended to im­prove re­sults.

“The main goal at the mo­ment is not to over­load them, but the next two weeks we have about six train­ing ses­sions, and there we have a lot of time to work with their tac­ti­cal ba­sics, but also with their mind.

“We will have a lot of video ses­sions and it will get mind-blow­ing for the guys. The train­ing ses­sions are forc­ing you to be re­ally con­cen­trated and there­fore I want them to dis­cuss it, for them to come to me. It is all about in­put, about mind­set. There will be no rest in the next weeks, I can guar­an­tee you.”

Hasen­huttl him­self has been rest­ing – or “recharg­ing his bat­ter­ies” – for six months since leav­ing Leipzig after two sea­sons. But he tired of walks in the moun­tains, and was ready to re­turn to the fast lane.

Though he is the first Aus­trian to take a top man­age­rial role in Eng­land’s top flight, Hasen­huttl spent a few weeks train­ing in the Premier League as a player; with Bolton as a teenager and with Glenn Hod­dle’s Chelsea in the 1990s. He lacked the phys­i­cal­ity and ta­lent re­quired to make ei­ther team, but thinks this moulded his coach­ing meth­ods.

“It was clear I was miss­ing a lot for that level. I had not so much ta­lent. I was a striker who could score, but run­ning was not my main goal. Maybe it’s why, as coach, I force them to run a lot,” he laughed.

Hasen­huttl also in­di­cated he had no in­ten­tion of play­ing it safe at Southamp­ton, say­ing he would like to stick to his pre­ferred 4-2-2-2 for­ma­tion, with the main goal to “try to press very early”. This pos­i­tive style of play is one rea­son he has been dubbed the “Klopp of the Alps” – and it is a com­par­i­son he ac­cepts.

“[Ju­r­gen Klopp] has a very proac­tive way to play and he set marks in Ger­many with his kind of foot­ball,” he said. “That in­flu­enced my style.”

The pair’s close re­la­tion­ship, which grew when com­plet­ing their coach­ing badges to­gether, shone through when Hasen­huttl ad­dressed ques­tions on the Liver­pool man­ager. He even joked that his friend’s Ger­man had suf­fered from be­ing in Eng­land so long, as Klopp had mis­trans­lated the mean­ing of his name to “rab­bit” dur­ing a press con­fer­ence on Mon­day, when in fact it means “small rab­bit hut”. De­spite their ob­vi­ous friend­ship, Hasen­huttl said he wanted to make his own way in the league.

“I don’t like [be­ing com­pared to Klopp] so much, I want to be my own char­ac­ter,” he said. “I want to put my foot­steps in the snow here. This step is not the eas­i­est one, but I never want easy in my life. I am al­ways chal­leng­ing my­self.”

Southamp­ton sit 18th after ac­cru­ing just one win and nine points un­der Mark Hughes from their first 14 games this cam­paign. Hasen­huttl is the club’s fourth man­ager in three sea­sons, but in­sisted he is not afraid of the prospect. He was at Wem­b­ley for the 3-1 de­feat by Tot­ten­ham in mid­week, and hinted at the se­ri­ous changes needed in the team’s at­ti­tude, gain­ing lit­tle en­cour­age­ment from a Saints goal in the clos­ing stages. “It is easy when you don’t have to lose any­thing any­more.”

This no-non­sense re­sponse, along­side his an­i­mated per­son­al­ity could be the com­bi­na­tion needed to in­ject some spark into Southamp­ton’s re­sults – but a spark re­gard­less is mostly what he is aim­ing to bring.

“You can ex­pect a very pas­sion­ate kind of foot­ball, with 11 char­ac­ters on the field who know ex­actly what to do,” Hasen­huttl said. “When you see us play­ing in the sum­mer it will be dif­fer­ent than when you see the team now. I can’t guar­an­tee you how many re­sults we will earn for that – if you want guar­an­tees, buy a wash­ing ma­chine. In foot­ball, there are no guar­an­tees. I hope it is enough to stay in this divi­sion.”

Klopp of the Alps: Southamp­ton man­ager Ralph Hasen­huttl likes to play a sim­i­lar style to that of the Liver­pool coach

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