Ralph Hasenhuttl warns against complacency after witnessing Southampton slide

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl (PA Wire)
22:30pm, Fri 19 Mar 2021
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Ralph Hasenhuttl feels Southampton must rediscover their identity all over again to secure a strong finish to a season which had promised so much.

The Saints head to Bournemouth for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final on the back of 10 defeats from their last 12 Premier League games.

However the results from that terrible run do not tell the whole story of a squad depleted by injuries and with many matches being settled on small details.

Nevertheless, Hasenhuttl accepts the outlook is now much different from when his team had briefly topped the table earlier in the campaign.

“This is a very good example how quickly things can change,” the Southampton boss said.

“It is always dangerous to say something like, ‘we are not this (struggling) club anymore’ – and then suddenly you find yourself in the relegation battle again or not that consistent in taking points.

“This is a few injuries, a few bad games, a few unlucky results and suddenly you find yourself in a situation where things are going worse.

“We have definitely the experience that we have only been a good team when everybody performs at the highest level.

“We have, especially after the lockdown and after the summer break, been in a perfect shape physically and mentally.

“But at the moment we are after this very intense time over Christmas, in January and in February, (and we are) running out of energy a little bit in the past weeks.”

Hasenhuttl, though, is confident the experiences of last season can stand them in good stead for the closing weeks of the condensed 2020-2021 campaign.

“I can remember one year ago, it was before the lockdown, we had the Norwich game, also home defeat against Newcastle, you could see that we haven’t been a really good side that at that moment,” the Saints boss recalled.

“Then we needed to time to recover, time to get fresh trying to turn a few things around, time to work on the pitch with a few training sessions and then it was getting better again.

“This is what we have to do now – find our rhythm back to find our highest performance, our highest level back and when I know that (we have done that) then we are a team which can also win games in every competition.”

Hasenhuttl believes only a collective effort on the training ground and pitch can help deliver an upturn in fortunes.

“It is down to everybody to find the right decisions, to write the right words, to find the right action,” the Austrian said. “We need everybody to be a good team.

“I know that as a club we are only very strong when we are committed, when we are working together, when the philosophy of (what) we are living for is shown in every minute of the game.

“When this happens, then we are not so easy to play, (but) when we are a bit away from this, then it is easier against us.”

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