Hasenhüttl heads to United with confidence

By SFC Media time Fri 01 Mar Man Utd v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Ralph Hasenhüttl knows the challenge is a big one this weekend, but the Southampton manager says he and his team will take plenty of confidence into their trip to Manchester United.

Saints head to Old Trafford on Saturday fresh from their 2-0 home win over Fulham in midweek – a result that lifted the team out of the bottom three – and Hasenhüttl believes that success will help as they prepare to face a United side that has not lost a Premier League game since mid-December.

the pressure is still on. we will try to do everything to get points there.

ralph hasenhüttl
southampton manager

"It's a tough match, sure, but we go there with more confidence from our side," said the Southampton boss.

"We had an important win against Fulham, and that helps us a lot, but the pressure is still on, so we will try to do everything to get points there.

"I know there are easier places to win than Old Trafford, especially at the moment, as the team is now completely different to two or three months ago. It's now a team that is unbeaten in a long time and the new manager hasn't lost a game until now, but, for us, it's important to focus on our strengths and our qualities.

"We need to have a good – if you want to say perfect – game in Old Trafford, otherwise it's not easy."

The result against Fulham marked the second clean sheet of Hasenhüttl's reign, following on from the 0-0 draw at Chelsea in January, and the Saints boss says a strong defensive performance will be key to any chance of success for his team at Old Trafford.

"It's good for the mind and for the mentality of the players that they have seen they can take this clean sheet in this moment, but it is a completely different game now, against an opponent that is packed with lot of very good players," he said.

"We should come back to this way where we are not giving presents to them in an easy way. I think against Arsenal it was the first time we did it in an away game, but we showed that we can take points also in Chelsea for example, and that's in our mind. I know that it's far away from easy to play there, but we are looking forward."

the kind of defending must be a very, very committed one.

ralph hasenhüttl
southampton manager

On handling some of United's most influential players, Hasenhüttl added: "Normally it's not our style to be very man-marked in the game.

"I know players like Pogba, you really need to take care of him because he has a lot of quality, but, again, it's not our style of defending. But it can be that, in some situations, we will have to bring more focus on him.

"The kind of defending must be a very, very committed one and if we have this then we have the chance to maybe have a clean sheet."

If Saints do get a positive result, it would be the fifth time in their past six trips to United that they will have come away with something, and, as well as being committed and solid at the back, Hasenhüttl hopes to hurt them at the other end.

"If you have the chance to bring a few counter-attacks it's a good option – always looking forward to having the ball and if you have the ball with a good transition forward you can hurt every team," he said.

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