Belfast Telegraph

Saints supremo Hasenhuttl is so happy to prove his family wrong

Southampton 3 Bournemouth 3

Staying up: Ralph Hasenhuttl has guided Saints to safety
Staying up: Ralph Hasenhuttl has guided Saints to safety

By Nick Purewal

Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed his family warned him against the risk of taking the Southampton job.

The Premier League's first Austrian manager has dragged Saints to top-flight safety with 29 points in 21 matches, having taken the helm when they had just nine from 15.

The 51-year-old admitted he loves doing things the hard way however, relishing Saints cementing their Premier League status with Saturday's 3-3 draw with Bournemouth.

Asked if anyone had told him taking over at St Mary's was a risk, Hasenhuttl replied: "Yes. It was my family!

"I've always spoken about being a manager who wants to have this situation. I don't know why it is like this, but the easy way is not my way.

"If you look at my history as a manager I was always going to clubs that had struggled, not in Leipzig of course because that was a different situation.

"But the other clubs had a similar situation to Southampton. So I know what that's about, I know the first half-year is the most difficult.

"And finally if you can make it you can enjoy it much more, it's much sweeter."

Matt Targett headed the goal that will earn Saints as much as £100million for retaining their Premier League status.

Callum Wilson's brace denied Saints the victory however, with Dan Gosling also in target for the Cherries.

Shane Long and James Ward-Prowse drilled smart finishes for the hosts in a turbulent afternoon, leaving Hasenhuttl plotting for the future.

"I see us as a club that develops players from our own academy or signs players from somewhere else, and wants to improve them," said Hasenhuttl.

"But first we'll try to finish these two games with as many points as possible. Then I think we have a good plan for how we want to take things forward."

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