After a few darker and more disappointing years at Southampton as we began playing the managerial switch game rather than actually building on the foundations of what actually saw us rise back up through the football pyramid, the appointment of manager Ralph Hasenhuttl last year certainly had an effect.
Performances largely improved, we saw better development again and of course, we returned to a more youthful outlook that prepares us for the future rather than overpaying in the transfer market – I accept the latter remains a point of frustration for many though and a better mix would be nice as our big money gambles in recent years have been failures.
Club ambassador, legend and Sky Sports pundit Matt Le Tissier was speaking to saintsfc recently with build up to the new 2019/20 campaign well underway and he highlighted something that fans couldn’t have failed to miss themselves since the Austrian arrived – we have some hope and optimism back. FINALLY!
“I think I’m probably a lot more optimistic than the past couple of seasons. It’s been a little bit of a struggle the last two years, but I think the way we finished the second half of the season with the new manager, I thought there was lots to look forward to for the next season. I think he’s been excellent since he’s been here. He’s injected an energy into the team that we haven’t had for a couple of seasons, and I think that’s important.”
MLT went on to say that during the better days at the club we always had a side that was more energetic with players looking to get on the front foot in attack and sadly we had slipped away from that recently with a more defensive (not that successful) approach to our play.
“That’s what he’s brought back to the club, and I think that’s why Season Ticket sales have gone so well. I think there is renewed optimism in the city, and mainly because of what Ralph’s done. You get a very different atmosphere in the stadium when the crowd comes with a positive attitude and that I think is the biggest thing the manager has brought, he’s brought his own brilliant positive mental attitude towards the club and it’s rubbed off on the players and I think you’ve seen it in the way it’s rubbed off on the fans, certainly in the second half of the season.”
Everyone will be hoping that continues and we can hit the ground running to really boost spirits further.