|Southampton 1 v 1 Huddersfield Town|
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 12th May 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Ralph Rounds Up The News Before The Final Game
Saturday, 11th May 2019 10:48
Ralph Hasenhuttl has given his final pre match press conference of the season find out what his thoughts are ahead of the visit of Huddersfield here.
Read Ralph Hasenhuttl's thoughts and our comments here.
On potentially finishing 15th…
"Maybe I was joking it was not that interesting for national but for us as a team and a club it’s very interesting we can make one more step and position in the table.
Not only for this but a last game at home is something very special and feels much better to make the final lap of appreciation to the fans with a win.
I think it’s much nicer to go around and say thank you to the fans if you have won before and that’s what we want to do."
Comment: Ralph knows it's good to finish on a high and he will want to do that, but he showed last week at West Ham that with the first job of avoiding relegation done he is now already focused on next season.
On challenging for a top six/seven finish…
"It’s something that was growing over years. It is not something you can manage in six or seven months.
It is something that has to grow and we started in a good direction and made the first good step and the foundation is built.
To make the next step it’s very important to make the right decisions for next year.
The players head off but for us as a club we should stay hard working in the break.
We need a few changes in the team and the club and that’s what we will enforce."
Comment: Every Saints fan knows what our weaknesses are and that they can only be addressed by at least a couple of good quality signings in that position, good to see Ralph knows that too.
On changes to personnel…
"I think general staffing we will have a few changes and that is normal and the sooner we have this the better it is so we can begin with what we want at the start.
It starts after the last game; all these transfer rumours. You know how long it sometimes takes until the club has found the right decisions.
We are forcing the right direction and the sooner we have decisions the better it is for me as a coach."
Comment: Saints are thin on the ground in having good experienced coaches working with the first team, Ralph needs to bring in someone who is experienced and he can trust.
On Fraser Forster…
"I don’t want to comment on every player now. It’s general.
We have still one game to go at the weekend and we will have a few changes back in. Maybe the shape we played before and the players that played before.
That means Angus is playing again and we will discuss the situation for every player after the last game and then we will take decisions of what happens to those players."
Comment: Ralph and the Saints board know it would be difficult to sell Fraser Forster due to the length of his contract and his wages, the only real practical solution would be to keep Forster but sell Alex McCarthy, with Angus Gunn now the established first choice, this makes sense and Forster is a more than able deputy.
On Nathan Redmond…
"I think he’s developed a lot since I’ve known him. I had a meeting with him yesterday and I said I enjoyed very much to work with him so far but I can’t see the limits for him.
I want a Nathan Redmond who shows again he can make a difference in our game and that’s exactly what he wants to do.
We will be focussed from the first day of pre-season to make him better.
Comment: This site has always been a big fan of Nathan Redmond even when we appeared to be a lone voice with Redmond being scapegoat number 1, Redmond's improvement started before Hasenhuttl arrived and is down to the mental toughness and determination of the player himself, however the arrival of Ralph has given him more confidence that comes from having the backing of not only the manager but the fans.
On Redmond’s favoured position…
"I think the best position is where he scores the most times. Sometimes he can be a little bit further in front.
It depends what shape we play and he showed he can play senior striker in the 5-2-3 for example.
He is very versatile and motivated. If he has good body language and feels comfortable with himself then he always has a very good performance."
Comment: A good day for Redmond against Huddersfield could see him in the England squad for the tournament in Portugal, especially as some of the squad will be missing due to the Champions League final, this final game of the season could be pivotal for Nathan Redmond.
I could but I don’t want to. We want to win this game and it’s everything about finding the right shape and the perfect position for every player.
It can be a spectacular game and if both teams play fresh it will be interesting and I would like to enjoy as a supporter."
Comment: Ralph knows that with nothing riding on the game there is no real point talking about injuries.
On the threat of Huddersfield…
"The last game they drew against Manchester United and it’s something like a signal.
We know they are relegated and every player wants to show that he is good enough for the Premier League and good test for himself.
For us it means we take this game as a serious chance to say goodbye in a winning way and that’s what I want to do with my team.
That was the reason I started this week with a very critical analysis of my team because it was not what I want to see. It was a clear message and we will have a reaction at the weekend."
Comment: As we said before Ralph wants to finish with a flourish but he has his eyes on moving forward for next season.
On the West Ham defeat…
"I think there were a lot of reasons why we played a game like this and I don’t want to discuss every reason now.
In general we have to show we can do it better and on the weekend there will be a team on the pitch that know their jobs. "
Comment: Ralph knows he got a few questions answered at West Ham, he is not dwelling on it and nor should the fans, it's now about what happens next season not this.
On pre-season plans…
"I think it’s not that much different to a normal training session during the week because we are still working hard.
The more important thing is that the schedule we gave them in the break they follow because that means they come back in the shape we can start immediately on the pitch.
I don’t want to start at zero.
Pre-season for me is something we want to work every part of our game and that means you have to have a level when you come back and that’s why it’s not having seven weeks of rest and do nothing.
For video clips we have enough time with them and the last six months there were enough video sessions and we have to prepare ourselves also what we want to teach them, new information and develop our game.
It’s important we use this time during the break to be clear with our philosophy and how we want to go because we want to do better.
For them it is the basic physical fundament that is the right one. Exercises like stabilising exercises and this stuff."
Comment: Ralph can now start to impose his way of working rather than have to try and get the best out of a squad with glaring deficiencies in two big areas, if he can achieve what he has in the last five months with what he had to hand, then it is exciting to think what he can achieve with a couple of signings and a squad fully in snyc with his way of working.
On staying positive…
"Everybody knows he has to work with his mind and brain and then we are committed and working as a team and that is the only chance to be successful for next season.
You can be sure this kind of work will be the same and also next year it has to be possible to change systems in a game two or three times without any problems because that’s modern football and it’s normal."
Comment: Over the last few years at Saints the negativity around the club has dragged us down, in the last month or so that has started to disperse a little and positivity has returned to the fan base, Ralph knows that is the only way that we can improve and move forward, that is both in the team and in the supporter base.
Photo: Action Images
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