Hasenhüttl's first press conference

By SFC Media Thu 06 Dec Press Conference
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Get an extensive rundown of Ralph Hasenhüttl's first press conference as Southampton manager with the following round-up from Staplewood...

Emotions...

“It’s a pleasure for me to sit here and I’m very proud of the club’s decision. It’s a big challenge for me, but it’s a logical next step in my career. It’s my goal to get my name known here in the Premier League.

“I had a few successful years in Germany, and when I left Leipzig in the summer I was thinking about my next step.

“I challenged myself to stand in front of a new team with a new language to develop myself and my view of football. That’s the reason I made this decision to come to Southampton.

“The history and philosophy of this team fits nearly perfect with my philosophy of playing football and how to work in football, so it was a good decision for me.”

Targets...

“The first target is to get out of the relegation zone. It’s tough enough – you know our schedule over Christmas.

“I’m not frightened about it, but the problem at the moment is that we have a lot of games in the next days, and if you know my kind of football, you know it’s all about training sessions and working on autonomism and habits.

“If you have the chance to train that’s ok, but if you don’t it’s not so easy to change something in the team. It’s about stabilising the team – mainly in the defence, as you saw yesterday in the match, it is too easy to score against us.

“Maybe the players are not in the best self-confidence position at the moment, but you need to have a good match plan.”

Turnover of managers...

“When you see the history of my last clubs, I know about VfR Aalen, where there were eight managers in five years before me. That doesn’t frighten me anytime.

“I want to put my footsteps in the snow here, and I’ve done it in all of the clubs before, who were often in a similar situation to where we are at the moment.

“It’s a bit back to the roots for me. Last year was easier because I had a fantastic Champions League team on a very high tactical and physical level.

“This step is not the easiest one, but I’ve never wanted easy in my life. I was always challenging myself and I’m looking forward. I’m not afraid of anything.”

Hasenhüttl met the media for the first time in a lunchtime press conference at Staplewood

Time to decide...

“It was a very quick decision. I knew a Premier League club will force me more than any Bundesliga chairman at the moment. I know that league by heart, everything is known to me.

“Here, everything is new. The clubs are new, the managers I play against are new, the tactics are a little bit different.

“It’s a very physical division. The speed is high and I don’t want to compare it to Germany because it is a very different way to play here sometimes.

“It’s a way I like very much and I think my kind of football fits very well with this league. That’s what I want to show with my team. It’s a very long, intensive and tough way. But let’s start from today.”

“Klopp of the Alps” nickname...

“I’ve heard about that. I don’t like it so much because I want to be my own character.

“I know him very well, although his German is not so good anymore because it’s so fierce in England that maybe his English is better than his German!

“I was laughing about his explaining of my name. it’s hard to pronounce for you.”

Relationship with Klopp...

“We were in the football school together and made our Pro Licence together. I was always a friend of his football – a very proactive way to play and I think he set marks in Germany with his football that really influenced my style.

“He made a fantastic way as a manager. He was very successful in Dortmund, and then he went to a famous club in the Premier League, who are developing in a fantastic way.

“When I can do it similar, it would be fantastic for me, but that’s too far away now. We have other targets, other goals and other problems. Let us start and see how far away our limits are at the moment.”

Hasenhüttl admits Jürgen Klopp was an influential figure in shaping his management style

Summer link to Arsenal...

“There was no contact. It was always in my mind that for the top six clubs in England my name was not big enough.

“At every club I have been successful, but not that I can say I’ve won the Champions League or Europa League.

“One time becoming champion of the Second Division in Germany is not really a good quality sign for one of the top six clubs here.”

Last night's game...

“What I liked most yesterday was when I saw our crowd yesterday supporting our team. I don’t know if this would be happening after such a match in Germany – when you lose a match 3-1 without having any chance to win – but the support was fantastic.

“It showed me the relationship between us and the fans is still a good one.

“The season so far is really a test for them – hard for them to stand. What I can appreciate is that they have to accept another style of football and a lot of passion in our game.

“It’s a results business, we know that, and we have to take results as soon as possible. When we do so, we can give them back what they gave us. That’s my goal.”

Spirit against Tottenham...

“It’s easy when you don’t have anything to lose anymore. It’s easier to be confident and try something.

“When you have this character in the first 20 minutes, I would say ‘ok, we know what to do’.

“The main goal is to work together as a team. I saw a few very interesting mistakes we made yesterday.”

What should fans expect?

“They can expect a very passionate style of football, with 11 characters on the field who know exactly what to do and what they have to show the crowd.

“After the match, even if we do not win, I’m one hundred per cent sure they will appreciate what they’ve seen.

“If you want guarantees, you have to buy a washing machine. In football, there are no guarantees. You can only increase the chance of winning.

“When this relationship works, I don’t know where the limits are for us.”

Hasenhüttl was hugely encouraged by the support Saints received at Wembley

Speaking to Pascal Groß...

“With Pascal I had a few telephone calls. He’s a fantastic guy who was my player in Ingolstadt.

“I watched his career in England and tried to follow him. He had a fantastic first season and I was very proud he did so well.

“He told me about the clubs at the bottom of the league, and said it would be very interesting for me to try to take over a club here and perform. He’s very interested to see what way I take.”

Playing in the Premier League...

“I had two chances to come here. One time I was training with Chelsea for two weeks with the manager Glenn Hoddle.

“It wasn’t the Chelsea we see at the moment. I think they were in the relegation zone!

“One time I trained with Bolton Wanderers, but I was a young player and had less international games, so it was too high a level for me.

“It’s a pity, but I’m very proud now to be here as a manager.”

Tactical philosophy...

“The character and mentality of the team is ok. I think what they need now is a match plan that fits them – to find the perfect formation and tactical summary, so we can be less easy to play against, and force the opponent more than they did yesterday.

“Ok, it was Tottenham and they are a very good team, but for me tactical flexibility is a main part of our game. 4-2-2-2 is my preferred system, but I can also play with 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 so the main goal is to be very active and press very early.

“It also depends on how many quick players you have and how much speed they have, so we need to look at the guys and how they compare with the system we want to play.”

Hasenhüttl is determined to make Saints "less easy to play against"

January transfer window...

“We just have a look at the players we have now. I want to bring them to their limits – I don’t know where the limits are, but if they like to go this way, they are invited to.

“When they follow us, it will be an intensive, hard-working way, and when everyone is pushing their limits to a higher level, we can see how far it gets us with each player.

“If someone says ‘it’s too much running for me or too much work’ he will fall very quick beside us. That’s how I want to work until January. Then we will have a look."

Money to spend?

“At first I think the squad is very big. We have a lot of positions where we have too many players.

“Maybe one or the other is leaving us, so we can bring something new, but we have the possibilities.

“I’ve spoken to the chairman about that and he will try everything to stand my wishes.”

Academy...

“We should put more focus on the Academy. If they feel we are watching them and have an eye on them, maybe it’s enough at the beginning.

“There are chances to get them in training sessions and see how close they are, and then you never know when a player shows us he is confident. It’s not the worst thing for me to put him in.

“In the past, they have had a lot of players coming from there, creating good capital for the youth Academy.

“That’s another goal for the future – to perform with these guys and develop them, because maybe one or another can help us to do better in the Premier League.”

Yan Valery joined fellow Academy graduate Michael Obafemi in making his first Premier League start against Manchester United last weekend

Missing life in Austria?

“I was away from Austria for two years in Leipzig, so I missed a lot there – especially the mountains – but in the last six months I have had enough of them.

“I was walking around a lot and I needed this time to get my batteries charged up again. Now it doesn’t matter if I don’t see the mountains again for two and a half years!”

First Austrian manager in the Premier League...

“It means a lot of pressure on me, because if I do it badly, the gap is closed for everyone else!

“I’m not afraid of it, I wanted it so hard and was working for it through all the lower leagues to get here – maybe the best league in the world.

“I’m not here because they invited me to come, but because I was working for it. I am proud of that, but it is only the beginning.

“It’s nice to come here with everyone talking good about you, but it’s better to leave with everyone talking good about you. That’s my goal.”

Football in Austria...

“I think Austrian football is developing and I made my experience as a manager in Germany, which is one of the best in the world – especially the last two years in Leipzig when I had a fantastic boss in Ralph Rangnick.

“He pushed us to higher levels, myself also, and it was a pleasure for me to work there. It was a fantastic time and a very important step in my career.

“I’m looking forward to how much I can change here with my style of working. We have a good team here and the staff are very open-minded, which is very important to me.

“We didn’t have the best players in the Bundesliga, but we were open-minded for all the new things and that helped us a lot to be ahead of Dortmund, and other clubs like that.”

First thought about Southampton...

“I was thinking about the Titanic leaving here, thinking to myself ‘I hope I don’t hit the first iceberg that’s waiting for me!’

“I was looking forward to it and it was a very good atmosphere talking with Ralph (Krueger) and Ross (Wilson). The decision was not really difficult for me."

Related

Press conference (part one): Ralph Hasenhüttl meets the media
Jaïdi: Risk and reward
Saints v Newcastle

Jaïdi: Risk and reward

Saints' youngsters benefitting from first-team experience.

9 hours ago
Inside Track: Arsenal Saints' New Year bundle coming soon