Hasenhüttl ready for Tuchel reunion


Ralph Hasenhüttl will be up against a familiar face when Southampton host Chelsea this weekend, with the Saints boss speaking of his admiration for the job Thomas Tuchel has done in only a few weeks at Stamford Bridge.

Hasenhüttl and Tuchel overlapped during their respective times in the Bundesliga in recent years, and they will now pit their wits against each other in the Premier League this Saturday, as an in-form Chelsea head to St Mary's for a lunchtime clash.

Tuchel, who managed Mainz and Borussia Dortmund in Germany before two years with Paris Saint-Germain, was only appointed in late January, replacing Frank Lampard at the helm, but has already led his new team to five consecutive wins.

"They are very different, with very obvious changes, especially with the ball," said Hasenhüttl.

"They are quicker, passing better, using the spaces between the lines, better counter-pressing when they lose the ball.

It's not so high-scoring domination if you want, but it's a controlled game all the time with a lot of possession and a lot of ball wins also in the opposition half and that shows how high they want to press now, how early they want to press, but also how strong they are with the ball.

"This is, for me, one of the best squads in terms of individual quality in the league, and now they are becoming more and more a team that is playing in a good shape and playing good football."

Hasenhüttl added: "You cannot allow them to have too much possession, you cannot allow them to have too many ball wins against the ball.

"You don't have a lot of time when you win it and want to create a chance, because they have very good counter-pressing and closing. It's a good team, a very strong side, this is how it looks when a good manager gets a good team."