New Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has now given his first proper round of interviews since taking the role at St Mary’s Stadium on following the departure of former gaffer Mark Hughes.
Having taken a watching brief for Wednesday evening’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium, preparations are now in full flow for the weekend’s clash with Cardiff City and with Hasenhuttl either being a name you know or a case of ‘who’s he?’, plenty have referred to him as being an Austrian version of Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp.
Our new gaffer told Sky Sports on Thursday afternoon that he wasn’t ‘Klopp of the Alps’ and whilst his first target was to get the club out of the relegation zone, one of his aims was to also make his own name in the Premier League.
“It’s a big challenge but also the logical next step in my career. My goal is to get my name known here in the Premier League. When I left Leipzig I was thinking about my next step, and I want to stand in front of a new team, new language, to get developed personally and in my view of football, that’s why I made the decision to come to Southampton.”
With Hasenhuttl taking his coaching badges alongside the Liverpool gaffer, he admitted having his kind of success in our top flight has to be the aim, but as we all know we’re ‘too far away at the moment’ and the way he speaks (admittedly when reading) he really does sound like he has his head screwed on and although he’s very confident, he knows this isn’t going to be a quick fix, without the need for hard work.
Asked about January strengthening for a quick boost, he insisted it was about pushing our current crop to ‘their limits’ first as he made his decisions.
“If you want guarantees you have to buy a washing machine.”
I can imagine fans will warm to him quickly, even if we have a slow start.