Southampton sack manager Ralph Hasenhuttl | football news

Southampton have sacked manager Ralph Hasenhuttl after almost four years at the club.

Hasenhüttl leaves the Saints after Sunday’s 4-1 defeat by Newcastle, which left them in the relegation zone after six defeats in nine top-flight games. Assistant coach Richard Kitzbichler has also left the club.

The Austrian was the fourth-longest-serving manager in the Premier League after taking over from St Mary’s in December 2018. He is the fifth top coach to be sacked this season, after Scott Parker, Thomas Tuchel, Bruno Lage and Steven Gerrard.

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WATCH FREE: Southampton v Newcastle highlights in the Premier League

A club statement read: “Hasenhüttl is leaving the club having made a significant contribution to the club, overseeing some memorable results and also having played a key role in the development of our club infrastructure, identity and playing team.

“However, we believe now is the right time for a change. Everyone involved at the club would like to express their sincere thanks to Ralph for all his efforts as well as for the unwavering commitment he has shown throughout his time as coach.”

First-team head coach Rubén Sellés will take over on an interim basis in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday. The club have said they will announce a permanent replacement in due course.

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Relive Ralph Hasenhuttl’s heaviest defeats in the Premier League following his sacking from Southampton

During his time at the club, Southampton suffered two 9-0 defeats in the space of 16 months, as they lost at home to Leicester in October 2019 and were struck by the same result at Manchester United in February 2021.

However, Hasenhuttl managed to preserve the Saints’ status in the Premier League, guiding them to 16th place in his first season in charge, followed by an 11th place finish in 2019/20 and 15th place in his following two seasons .

Hasenhüttl: We weren’t good enough

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A dejected Ralph Hasenhuttl reflects on the current state of Southampton, where his side sit in the relegation zone

Hasenhuttl admitted after the Newcastle defeat that he saw no way out for Southampton in their current form and when asked in his post-match press conference if this would be his last game in charge, he said: “I’ve made a lot of decisions my time here. Luckily I don’t have to make that decision.

“I can’t say the effort wasn’t there, but at the moment we’re not taking the reward for the effort on the pitch.

“I think being in the relegation zone reflects what we’ve done so far. It wasn’t good enough.”

Saints are running out of patience with Hasenhüttl

Sky Sports’ Dan Sansom:

“You have to accept that we will have 10-15 defeats a season.”

Those were Ralph Hasenhuttl’s words when I spoke to him at the Southampton training ground on Friday.

Two days later, a 4-1 win over Newcastle at St Mary’s saw him lose his managerial job.

Southampton are in the relegation zone after 14 games. Sunday’s defeat was the eighth in the Premier League this season.

Hasenhuttl, Southampton
Ralph Hasenhuttl has lost six of his last nine Premier League games as Southampton manager

Hasenhüttl was used to the pressure from his time on the south coast. Two 9-0 defeats and several dips in form since the Austrian’s appointment in December 2018 meant his position was questioned on multiple occasions. But the 55-year-old always seemed to recover.

However, a string of six defeats in nine Premier League games after spending £83million this summer – mostly on young players – has seen the Southampton hierarchy lose patience.

“Southampton are a team fighting for their lives. If they don’t get more aggressive and are willing to commit to the cause, they will go under,” said former Saints boss Graeme Souness Sky Sports.

Southampton were unwilling to take that risk with Hasenhuttl still in office.


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