Southampton go into this weekend’s clash with West Ham United knowing that our Premier League survival is guaranteed following the entertaining 3-3 draw with Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth last weekend.
With Hasenhuttl avoiding the drop following his arrival, as was his mandate, he’ll have one eye on finishing the campaign strongly so we take some momentum into 2019/20 but given his pivot to youth, there are those Saints fans who wouldn’t be surprised to see many a new face or two on the substitutes bench and then for them to get a small run out as he assesses his other options at the club, with the pressure now off.
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has now made his pre-game predictions for the weekend’s round of fixtures and he believes that Southampton will ultimately lose this one 2-0.
“West Ham became the first away team to win at Tottenham’s new stadium last week and although they are very up and down, I have a feeling they will sign off with another good performance in their last home game of the season. Southampton are safe, and the risk they took when they appointed Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager in December has definitely paid off. Hasenhuttl will now know all about his squad – and what they can and cannot do – and it will be very interesting to see who he tries to sign in the summer.”
If Hasenhuttl shakes things up with an eye to next year I doubt many fans will be that bothered given we achieved our aim, and that probably stands even if he doesn’t shake things up to be fair.
Rightly though, it’s good to see Lawrenson acknowledge our gaffer in the way he does.