With Southampton securing our Premier League future with a stronger run of form and results following the arrival of manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, we went into last weekend’s clash with West Ham United at the London Stadium knowing nothing really was riding on the game.
The aim was to win and keep some momentum going for next season, but the Austrian gaffer made a few changes that raised everyone’s eyebrows for the game and speaking to the Daily Echo after the 3-0 defeat, the gaffer felt that it remained the right choice despite the loss, as it does help to give him a far wider picture of the group as he continues to make plans for next year.
“I think this game is also important for us to see if you are not 100 per cent in shape or full of commitment then it looks like this. The result of this game shows we were right and this was the right way to have a focus on the back five because we were more stable and had more chances to win games. At the moment we have a lot of injuries with centre backs, two are out, so we don’t have a lot of alternatives at the moment. We know we have to do a lot of things in the summer to get better and also bring new players in, for sure. I can guarantee you that this game only gives us a true picture.”
Speaking more specifically about those that came in like goalkeeper Fraser Forster, Hasenhuttl said it was a reward for their hard work on the training pitch, and he did have some sympathy that their return coincided with a defeat but such is football.