Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has paid tribute to Her Majesty and praised the country’s “special” response.

With the United Kingdom in a period of national mourning, Southampton’s trip to Aston Villa on Friday will be the first Premier League fixture played since the The Queen’s bereavement, with tributes planned to take place at Villa Park.

Commenting, Ralph Hasenhüttl said: “I am here now nearly four years and I learnt this country, in all circumstances - in a pandemic and in such situations - and I must say, you can be very proud of the people who are living here because the way they showed their respect to a wonderful person, for a very long term where she was being in duty and serving for this country, and the way you show the respect is something impressive and very special.

“All over the world I haven’t seen something similar to be honest, and that’s having been to a lot of countries living and working,” Hasenhüttl continued. “It was, for me, absolutely a clear decision to not play football last weekend and I would also completely understand if we did not play on this weekend, because it’s a special moment for this country.

“It’s beyond impressive to see how the people are reacting and showing their respect. They are not forced to queue for 20 hours to say goodbye to her, they simply want to do it and it’s something very, very special and you can be very proud of the situation you are living in in this country.”