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Ralph Hasenhuttl Speaks To The Press
Thursday, 6th Dec 2018 18:40

New Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has given his first thoughts as Southampton manager to the press, read what he has to say here.

Speaking on Thursday afternoon to the press at Staplewood Ralph had this to say.

“It’s a pleasure for me to sit here and I’m very proud of the club’s decision. It’s a big challenge for me, but it’s a logical next step in my career. It’s my goal to get my name known here in the Premier League.

“I had a few successful years in Germany, and when I left Leipzig in the summer I was thinking about my next step.

“I challenged myself to stand in front of a new team with a new language to develop myself and my view of football. That’s the reason I made this decision to come to Southampton.

“The history and philosophy of this team fits nearly perfect with my philosophy of playing football and how to work in football, so it was a good decision for me.”

“The first target is to get out of the relegation zone. It’s tough enough – you know our schedule over Christmas.

“I’m not frightened about it, but the problem at the moment is that we have a lot of games in the next days, and if you know my kind of football, you know it’s all about training sessions and working on autonomism and habits.

“If you have the chance to train that’s ok, but if you don’t it’s not so easy to change something in the team. It’s about stabilising the team – mainly in the defence, as you saw yesterday in the match, it is too easy to score against us.

“Maybe the players are not in the best self-confidence position at the moment, but you need to have a good match plan.”

“When you see the history of my last clubs, I know about VfR Aalen, where there were eight managers in five years before me. That doesn’t frighten me anytime.

“I want to put my footsteps in the snow here, and I’ve done it in all of the clubs before, who were often in a similar situation to where we are at the moment.

“It’s a bit back to the roots for me. Last year was easier because I had a fantastic Champions League team on a very high tactical and physical level.

“This step is not the easiest one, but I’ve never wanted easy in my life. I was always challenging myself and I’m looking forward. I’m not afraid of anything.”

The Austrian then spoke of how easy it was for him to decide to come to Saints.

“It was a very quick decision. I knew a Premier League club will force me more than any Bundesliga chairman at the moment. I know that league by heart, everything is known to me.

“Here, everything is new. The clubs are new, the managers I play against are new, the tactics are a little bit different.

“It’s a very physical division. The speed is high and I don’t want to compare it to Germany because it is a very different way to play here sometimes.

“It’s a way I like very much and I think my kind of football fits very well with this league. That’s what I want to show with my team. It’s a very long, intensive and tough way. But let’s start from today.”

He was the asked about the “Klopp of the Alps” nickname...

“I’ve heard about that. I don’t like it so much because I want to be my own character.

“I know him very well, although his German is not so good anymore because it’s so fierce in England that maybe his English is better than his German!

“I was laughing about his explaining of my name. it’s hard to pronounce for you.”

“We were in the football school together and made our Pro Licence together. I was always a friend of his football – a very proactive way to play and I think he set marks in Germany with his football that really influenced my style.

“He made a fantastic way as a manager. He was very successful in Dortmund, and then he went to a famous club in the Premier League, who are developing in a fantastic way.

“When I can do it similar, it would be fantastic for me, but that’s too far away now. We have other targets, other goals and other problems. Let us start and see how far away our limits are at the moment.”

There was also the question of his Summer link to Arsenal...

“There was no contact. It was always in my mind that for the top six clubs in England my name was not big enough.

“At every club I have been successful, but not that I can say I’ve won the Champions League or Europa League.

“One time becoming champion of the Second Division in Germany is not really a good quality sign for one of the top six clubs here.”

But perhaps the most eagerly awaited question was about his view of the defeat at Spurs.

“What I liked most yesterday was when I saw our crowd yesterday supporting our team. I don’t know if this would be happening after such a match in Germany – when you lose a match 3-1 without having any chance to win – but the support was fantastic.

“It showed me the relationship between us and the fans is still a good one.

“The season so far is really a test for them – hard for them to stand. What I can appreciate is that they have to accept another style of football and a lot of passion in our game.

“It’s a results business, we know that, and we have to take results as soon as possible. When we do so, we can give them back what they gave us. That’s my goal.”

“It’s easy when you don’t have anything to lose anymore. It’s easier to be confident and try something.

“When you have this character in the first 20 minutes, I would say ‘ok, we know what to do’.

“The main goal is to work together as a team. I saw a few very interesting mistakes we made yesterday.”

So What should fans expect?

“They can expect a very passionate style of football, with 11 characters on the field who know exactly what to do and what they have to show the crowd.

“After the match, even if we do not win, I’m one hundred per cent sure they will appreciate what they’ve seen.

“If you want guarantees, you have to buy a washing machine. In football, there are no guarantees. You can only increase the chance of winning.

“When this relationship works, I don’t know where the limits are for us.”

Did he ever have the chance of Playing in the Premier League...

“I had two chances to come here. One time I was training with Chelsea for two weeks with the manager Glenn Hoddle.

“It wasn’t the Chelsea we see at the moment. I think they were in the relegation zone!

“One time I trained with Bolton Wanderers, but I was a young player and had less international games, so it was too high a level for me.

“It’s a pity, but I’m very proud now to be here as a manager.”

Tactical philosophy...

“The character and mentality of the team is ok. I think what they need now is a match plan that fits them – to find the perfect formation and tactical summary, so we can be less easy to play against, and force the opponent more than they did yesterday.

“Ok, it was Tottenham and they are a very good team, but for me tactical flexibility is a main part of our game. 4-2-2-2 is my preferred system, but I can also play with 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 so the main goal is to be very active and press very early.

“It also depends on how many quick players you have and how much speed they have, so we need to look at the guys and how they compare with the system we want to play.”

What does he expect in theJanuary transfer window...

“We just have a look at the players we have now. I want to bring them to their limits – I don’t know where the limits are, but if they like to go this way, they are invited to.

“When they follow us, it will be an intensive, hard-working way, and when everyone is pushing their limits to a higher level, we can see how far it gets us with each player.

“If someone says ‘it’s too much running for me or too much work’ he will fall very quick beside us. That’s how I want to work until January. Then we will have a look."

Will he have Money to spend?

“At first I think the squad is very big. We have a lot of positions where we have too many players.

“Maybe one or the other is leaving us, so we can bring something new, but we have the possibilities.

“I’ve spoken to the chairman about that and he will try everything to stand my wishes.”


“We should put more focus on the Academy. If they feel we are watching them and have an eye on them, maybe it’s enough at the beginning.

“There are chances to get them in training sessions and see how close they are, and then you never know when a player shows us he is confident. It’s not the worst thing for me to put him in.

“In the past, they have had a lot of players coming from there, creating good capital for the youth Academy.

“That’s another goal for the future – to perform with these guys and develop them, because maybe one or another can help us to do better in the Premier League.”

So will he miss life in Austria

“I was away from Austria for two years in Leipzig, so I missed a lot there – especially the mountains – but in the last six months I have had enough of them.

“I was walking around a lot and I needed this time to get my batteries charged up again. Now it doesn’t matter if I don’t see the mountains again for two and a half years!”

First Austrian manager in the Premier League...

“It means a lot of pressure on me, because if I do it badly, the gap is closed for everyone else!

“I’m not afraid of it, I wanted it so hard and was working for it through all the lower leagues to get here – maybe the best league in the world.

“I’m not here because they invited me to come, but because I was working for it. I am proud of that, but it is only the beginning.

“It’s nice to come here with everyone talking good about you, but it’s better to leave with everyone talking good about you. That’s my goal.”

Football in Austria...

“I think Austrian football is developing and I made my experience as a manager in Germany, which is one of the best in the world – especially the last two years in Leipzig when I had a fantastic boss in Ralph Rangnick.

“He pushed us to higher levels, myself also, and it was a pleasure for me to work there. It was a fantastic time and a very important step in my career.

“I’m looking forward to how much I can change here with my style of working. We have a good team here and the staff are very open-minded, which is very important to me.

“We didn’t have the best players in the Bundesliga, but we were open-minded for all the new things and that helped us a lot to be ahead of Dortmund, and other clubs like that.”

First thought about Southampton...

“I was thinking about the Titanic leaving here, thinking to myself ‘I hope I don’t hit the first iceberg that’s waiting for me!’

“I was looking forward to it and it was a very good atmosphere talking with Ralph (Krueger) and Ross (Wilson). The decision was not really difficult for me."

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schatfield added 18:51 - Dec 6
I like this guy already....

Per his comments on the away support (which is often great), sadly he will have a rude awakening in his first home game where the crowd are the opposite and dont make much noise except with negative comments

underweststand added 19:15 - Dec 6
Good first impressions and its clear from his comments that any player who thinks that training is a fun kickabout will be in for a rude awakening and may even need to take a look at " other club alternatives " to further their careers.
There will surely be one or two departures in January to bring in a bit of transfer capital and cut back the huge salary bill. I don't think (even without Mr.Gao's intervention) that the club has serious financial problems but the present squad could cost us more than £100 million in wages - by the time their mutual contracts run out...and clearly some of them aren't Prem.quality.

I expect Ralph H. to ring the changes and maybe bring in some of those who were " beyond the Pale " during Hughes' time. If he's looking to get some U23 players involved he could do worse than bring back Reed and Hesketh who have DAJ for their loan clubs.

If things work our well ...then we may even find that some of the contributors on here will give some credit to (Chairman) Ralph K. for his input on this signing.


1970 added 19:22 - Dec 6
I agree with you schatfield he sounds like a winner, and he's already seen who's leaving I should think can you imagine Austin in a high pressing team lol he'd hurt himself,
the home crowd will hopefully get behind the team but that is difficult when virgin have given our vocal end to away fans for 20 plenty that is a big disappointment for me coyr

saintlee added 19:51 - Dec 6
Wow. I hope the players are inspired by him. I was when I watched the press conference and Im completely uninspirable 😁😁

ottersaint added 20:42 - Dec 6
Well in the words of Craig Revel Horwood, just three words darling, FAN TAS TIC......

SanMarco added 21:28 - Dec 6
Well - I think this is going to be very interesting. Let's hope the morale boost helps the players as well as us fans.

"I saw a few very interesting mistakes we made yesterday" - And he is observant too!! Can't wait to hear his observations on Long's lack of danger to barn doors...

mattthelegend added 23:23 - Dec 6
Like the sound of him already, especially the part about washing machines. Looks like a few faces are going to be put out of place. Sounds like he is well up for the task ahead, only question is how many of the squad are going to join him, interesting times ahead for sure👍. UTS

TeamCortese added 13:56 - Dec 7
Bring on the Alpen Klopp!!! :)

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