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Thursday 20 June 2019

Hasenhuttl plans player clear-out at struggling Saints

CHANGES: New Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl faces his first game in charge at fellow strugglers Cardiff City today. Photo: John Walton/PA
CHANGES: New Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl faces his first game in charge at fellow strugglers Cardiff City today. Photo: John Walton/PA

Ralph Hasenhuttl has warned he will trim Southampton’s squad before seeking new signings in the January transfer window.

Saints’ new Austrian boss takes charge of his first match in today’s crunch Premier League clash at Cardiff, and has revealed he wants to reduce the numbers in his squad.

Saints boast just one win in 15 league matches this term, with Hasenhuttl now the club’s fourth permanent manager in less than 18 months.

Hasenhuttl, who insisted he will look to continue the club’s record of promoting from the academy, said: “We’ve just had a look at the players we have now; I want to bring them to their limits.

“I don’t know where the limits are and if they like to go this way with us they are invited to’ and when they follow us it will be an intensive, hard working way.

“When they their push their limits we will see where they get.

“If someone says it is it too much running or work for me they will fall very quick beside us. That’s how I want to work at January and that’s when we look.

“At first I think the squad is very big so we have a lot of positions where we have too many players and maybe one or the other is leaving us and we bring something new.

“I have spoken with the chairman about that and they will do everything to help my wishes.”

Southampton’s board believe former RB Leipzig and Ingoldstadt boss Hasenhuttl’s appointment represents a return to the club’s values of a progressive, upwardly-mobile and demanding manager.

The 51-year-old former Austria striker bears comparison to Liverpool’s

Jurgen Klopp for his free speaking and his high-pressing strategy.

Hasenhuttl favours a 4-2-2-2 formation, but admitted on his official unveiling on Thursday that he can also switch to 4-3-3 or even three at the back.

Southampton face two pivotal away battles in the early relegation stakes by facing first Cardiff today and then Huddersfield on December 22.

“We have a very good youth academy in this club and it’s a goal for us to bring them forward again,” said Hasenhuttl.

“In history there were a lot coming out from there and players coming out of the youth academy and that’s the goal for the future and perform with these guys, develop and maybe one or the other can help us do it better in the Premier League.”

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