Hasenhuttl Has High Hopes For His Time At Saints
Saturday, 9th Mar 2019 09:38
Ralph Hasenhuttl has spoken about his hopes for Saints and how he is targeting a return to the Europa League for the club.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has established a reputation for being a manager who tells it how it is and sets realistic targets and goals for not only his players but the club he is managing.
Mauricio Pochettino left Saints in 2014 under a cloud for the way in which he left, citing that he felt unable to fulfil his ambitions at the club, Tottenham offered him a better choice at glory, but five years later he has yet to truly fulfil those ambitions and is at a crossroads in his career, for Spurs success is measured by trophies and although he has turned the North London club into a top four side over the past couple of years he has yet to win anything and managers at White Hart Lane have been sacked regularly for that.
The Argentinian has been allowed more time than any of his predecesors, but as of yet although he has improved Spurs he cannot seem to take them into a higher echelon.
Failure for Spurs is 5th place, anything under that is disaster, but for Saints 5th would be success and Ralph Hasenhuttl recognises that.
The Austrian feels it is a matter of balance, and recognising what achievement looks like for different clubs.
“It’s very hard to say but I don’t know if it must be the goal for us to be one of the top six clubs in England.
“For sure every fan wants as much success as possible, but I think we also have our level where we can over-perform, where we make surprising moments and if we can make it once again in the Europa League it would be the same sort like Tottenham wins the Premier League.
“It’s about what you expect from a club and what they give you."
“At the moment for every Southampton fan they want to see us higher in the table but at the moment we’re struggling against relegation."
“For example, Saturday’s game, I appreciate this game a lot but if we have ten more points even more because it’s a different situation and not so much pressure on us and the fans can enjoy it more than at the moment where we need every point.
“Every club in the Premier League has its spot and ours is maybe at the moment a lower one but we have to rise it.”
Hasenhuttl watched the game from the stands back in December as Tottenham beat Saints 3-1 on the day he was appointed with Kelvin Davis taking charge of the team.
Much has changed since then and mainly for the better with Saints now looking a different proposition.
“It was a long time ago,” Hasenhuttl laughed
“I think it was not a very good game from us against a very good team and what I expected was that we have a lot of things to do.
“I think it was not the team we have to take as a level where we can compete. It’s a top six club in England.
“The big difference is between these two teams so I was not shocked because I know Tottenham is a very good and tough opponent.”
These are realistic words from Hasenhuttl, he is aware of not only the financial backing needed to not only buy players but pay their salaries, that comes not only from having a rich owner but having the power to generate massive income from corporate sponsorship and marketing worldwide.
He is not making hollow promises about turning Saints into a Champions League club, he knows that is a promise that would be very hard to fulfil with the current state of UK football focused on the rich getting richer and the poor poorer in relative terms.
Saints fans have been clamouring on social media about knowing what the plans are for the club going forward and Hasenhuttl has revealed them, it is to build a club that can firstly be seen as one of the foremost behind the Big Six and then try to pull off the odd shock or two and that means Europa League qualification or perhaps a domestic trophy.
As I said these are totally realistic targets, these are achievable ambitions not pie in the sky, the club has been blighted over the past few years by some who keep referring back to our previous Chairman's boasts about a five year plan to make Saints a top four club and cite that back then the club had ambition.
That is far from the truth, back then we had neither the financial clout nor the squad to achieve that and taking a look at the Premier League tables over the last decade show that Leicester apart the top four has been a Big Six monopoly, indeed we are one of the few clubs other than them to get a top six finish in that time.
To move forward we need to see those idle boasts for what they were and that was certainly not ambition, now Hasenhuttl has told it how it is and what he will see as success.
The truth is he is right, unless a European super league comes into existence it is perhaps a sad fact that there will never again be a Premier League winner outside of the big six, indeed in over 30 years outside of the big six only Leicester in 2016, Blackburn in 1995 and Leeds in 1992 have won the top flight title and the latter two had massive financial clout at the time.
The future for Saints can be bright, but it is about trying to establish ourselves as a top ten club and then over performing as Hasenhuttl has stated, it won't be about pipe dreams and idle boasts about top four finishes on a regular basis.
Photo: Action Images
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