Hasenhüttl on ‘historic’ Dean Smith encounter


Ralph Hasenhüttl will be a part of Premier League history when he comes up against Dean Smith in the opposite dugout at Norwich on Saturday.

The newly appointed Canaries boss - who was dismissed by Aston Villa following defeat to Saints prior to the international break – will be the first manager to face an opponent in consecutive Premier League games in the same season, but with different clubs.

Facing a unique situation, Hasenhüttl declared pre-match preparation has focused on his own side, rather than Smith and his newly inherited Norwich squad.

“It’s always difficult when the opponent changes manager and you don’t have the information that you have normally.

“He [Dean Smith] knows us and we know him which makes it a little bit different, but we are concentrating on our own game.

“We have had some good games in the past now and we want to concentrate on our development and this is the next game that we can win.

“We’re preparing for our game to be tactically as flexible as possible. We have been this in the past and I think this makes more sense than to concentrate on any shape or particular habis from the opponent because you don’t know what you get.

“We know Dean Smith yes, we know the team yes, so we have spoken a little bit about both, but in general we try to concentrate on our game and to be prepared for everything that is coming and facing us.”