|Southampton 1 v 2 Cardiff City|
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 9th February 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Hasenhuttl Calls For Passion
Saturday, 9th Feb 2019 09:47
Ralph Hasenhuttl has said that "Passion is the key word" in the stands as he prepares his team for the game against Cardiff City.
When he arrived at the club Ralph Hasenhuttl spoke of how his players needed to either be on the bus or get off it, his style is to have a squad that is 100% committed as he knows that you cannot get results unless that is the case.
Given that he has completely turned round Saints season it is now clear that the same squad he has inherited were divided by Mark Hughes not united.
But having gained that respect, trust and commitment from his players he also knows that the supporters being on board is just as important and he is once again calling on them to do their bit.
He knows it is easy for the fans to be behind a team when it is winning, but not so easy when things are tough.
He wants to get the same mindset in the supporters as the players and it is a breath of fresh air to hear a manager speak this way and clearly recognise the importance of supporters to a football club rather than pay him lip service.
This afternoon at St Mary's is a big game for the club and the Austrian wants the fans to be as committed to the cause as he and his players.
"Like in all the other games this year, passion is the key word."
"Nobody thinks after ten minutes it will be 5-0 to us – it will take time to find the right solutions, but we want to immediately put pressure on them and show 100 per cent willingness to win this game."
"There's only a chance to take points consistently if the game is doing well and working," he said."
Hasenhuttl is well aware that if the game is not going well on the pitch then he needs the support from the stands to be there to drive the players on through tough periods in a game, he has seen the potential for that in some games, but he will also have seen the empty seats against Crystal Palace, so knows that although the bulk of the support is behind him, there are still those who are scarred by the last couple of seasons and have not yet put the past behind them .
Once they can do that and like Hasenhuttl's squad then everything is in place to pull away from the relegation zone and build for next season.
The Austrian is not just relying on the fans to help him beat Cardiff but also his squad and although he has been impressed by the way his players have adapted against different levels and styles of teams they have faced in putting together a five game unbeaten run, he is also well aware that the defensive frailty is still there and wants to see that improve.
Over the past two years Saints have struggled due to the ridiculously high number of soft goals they have conceded, many in the final minutes of a game and if that can be improved then it will be a decent ending to the season.
"We can create chances, we can also defend very well, although we had only one time a clean sheet, against Chelsea. That's the thing we have to do more of in the future, because it is not always possible to score two or more times to win games, so that's the only thing I'm missing at the moment that we have two less clean sheets until now."
"Last game we had a few seconds to go and then had a goal against us, but I think the players believe in what we are doing – they see that this kind of football helps us to win games and take points. Also, it doesn't matter how the result this weekend is, it continues for the last three months of this season."
"The opponents have been completely different. We were unbeaten against Chelsea, the same like against Crystal Palace or Burnley now. It's a good sign for the players. They were completely different games, sometimes with one man less, defending 55 minutes, other games against Everton very dominant for 90 minutes, so we showed a lot of faces and now it's about turning the table against Cardiff."
Photo: Action Images
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Although not an avid collector, I recently catalogued my collection of football memorabilia and I have 175 items, mostly programmes, some fanzines, and a few ticket stubs which aren’t accompanied by anything else. I have no idea how many more may have been misplaced during house moves, clear-outs etc., but the collection spans nearly 30 years (the earliest is the programme from our 1990 Boxing Day game against Barnet at Layer Rd), and is almost universally Colchester United related (though not quite all of it). I have decided to try and put this to some use, by choosing one at random prior to each match and writing a short article about the match, maybe the programme, and even any personal recollections I have of the game (notwithstanding enforced enfeeblement due to excessive libation). I will try and do this ahead of each game this season, but my apologies in advance if I don’t quite achieve that.
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