Notebook: Pressure lifted on Ralph Hasenhuttl at Southampton

Sky Sports News reporter Becky Williams analyses Ralph Hasenhuttl’s position at Southampton, with back-to-back home victories over Norwich and Watford helping ease the pressure on his position at St Mary’s.

Hasenhuttl insists he has benefitted from his side’s poor start to the season and believes he is a more experienced top-flight manager for it.

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Saints have won just four out of their 16 Premier League games this term and speculation over his job mounted after the south coast club failed to get a win in four top-flight games prior to the 9-0 drubbing at home to Leicester City, a humiliating defeat which placed the Austrian under further scrutiny.

But with recent wins against Norwich and Watford, the pressure has subsided and the Southampton manager is grateful to the club for backing him, after the Foxes recorded their largest-ever away win in Premier League history on October 25.

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He told Sky Sports News: “It is important that you can feel we are all going in one direction and believe in what we are doing.

“It was an important period for us all, for the team, for me as a manager. I have never had such a situation in my entire managing career.

“After that, I don’t want to say I am a better manager than before, but I am more experienced now. I have never had such a situation, and to come out of it is important sometimes”.

Southampton are currently in the relegation zone and Hasenhuttl admits that staying in the league will require a lot of hard work. He believes the key is to work on maintaining clean sheets and defensive solidity.

Danny Ings has proved pivotal for the club this season, scoring nine Premier League goals so far. That has prompted some to question whether he is in the thoughts of England manager, Gareth Southgate.

Hasenhuttl insists Ings has grabbed his first-team opportunities with both hands, adding: “Ingsy has shown he can score in the best league in the world. If you do it permanently, it is normal for people to be looking at you”.

Che Adams joined Southampton in the summer from Birmingham City and despite a strong pre-season, he has failed to score for the Saints so far this term.

Hasenhuttl said: “He was a little unlucky in the first games. He had a few chances, but was a little bit unlucky, maybe hitting the post twice.

“Maybe if he scored, the story would be a different one. But no, after a lot of games, with Ingsy doing better and better, it was up to me to give Ingsy a chance from the beginning.

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