Hasenhüttl's Tottenham press conference round-up

By SFC Media Thu 07 Mar Saints v Tottenham
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

We bring you the key points from Ralph Hasenhüttl's press conference, as the Saints boss prepares for a visit of Champions League quarter-finalists Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday...

On VAR…

"I don’t expect too much justice from VAR. I have experience of it when it was in its first year in the Bundesliga and there were lots of problems in the beginning because it still comes down to human decisions. The most important thing is that everyone in the stadium knows what it is about and what is being checked and that the decision is taken in the stadium and not 300 miles away.

"The referee sees the incident, he knows the atmosphere and if he made a big mistake or not and then decides if he wants to change it. It has a lot of challenges to face, it is easier for offside or not because you can take the line and maybe it is an inch either way.

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhüttl has experience of VAR in domestic football following his time with RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.

"On the other hand, for fouls or handballs in the box, it is always a difficult decision to make because it is still the referee who must decide. 

"The last decision has to be made by the referee because he sees the scene in real-time and makes a decision in his mind in that moment. If he thinks he has made a mistake then he has the chance to overturn himself. Everyone must know what it’s about and if it takes two or three minutes the crowd will get angry and it can kill the atmosphere in the stadium."

...on Man United and the 'big six' 

"One game we took points against Fulham, the other against Man United we didn’t and that is the only thing that interests me. We didn’t play so bad at Old Trafford and to see the momentum behind them last night you can imagine how big the performance was. We took them to the limit and made them play their best to beat us.

"The Champions League shows that these top teams in England are in really fantastic shape and they are in the moment showing that the Premier League is the best in the world.

"Although United lost 2-0 to PSG, they can still do outrageous things when they need to. They were very clinical and that’s something we have experienced in the Premier League; if you want to win against teams like this, you have to be perfect." 

on Spurs...

"It’s outstanding to see what Pochettino has built; he has created quality without spending huge money and that shows how good he is. I think if you see the performance of this team, they always play the perfect pass at the perfect time and find the space that is available and to play against them is very difficult.

"Preparing for a game like this, you see so much quality; it’s a perfect example of technical quality meeting tactical performance. It will be a very interesting game at the weekend.

"We showed against United that if we find a good balance with our pressing then we can create a few problems for the big teams too.

It is not normal to sustain that for 90 minutes and not give them a chance because you can’t defend everything but we showed we have the quality to win balls and set counter-attacks. Against Tottenham, we have to give them the biggest fight we can imagine and be committed and know exactly what we need to do." 

on Harry Kane... 

"He is not only the guy who is scoring but also moving out of the first line to develop the game; he is more than a finisher and sometimes his influence is reduced to that. He is a very good package and if he has a chance then it is a goal. But, this team showed that when he was injured that they were still successful. Tottenham are not only Kane and that makes it so difficult to face them."

on Danny Ings and the international break...

"Danny (Ings) is not in the group at the moment. We didn’t take any risks, we want to give him the time to come back during the three-week break after Tottenham. We will play a friendly against a Championship team and he can play for 45 minutes maybe in that time and build up his fitness.


Danny Ings's last Saints appearance came against Burnley on 2 February.

"This is a new situation for me, missing a league game for the cup. To have such a long break during the season is unnatural. We will have everyone here for the first week and then not for the second. The first, we will take a few early steps to Brighton but when they go to their national teams maybe they will forget what we worked on.

"It doesn’t really make sense, either way we will try to find something to keep the rhythm but it’s not easy."

on touchline discipline...

"I’ve had a few touchline bans when I was discussing some things! Normally I try to be very respectful to referees also because I want their respect and that is normally not a problem.

"Sometimes in an emotional situation you can go too far but I don’t know what happened for Pochettino. I have spoken to referees about decisions after the match is a respectful way and that is normal.

"With the suspension, he can sit in the stands with headphones to contact the staff and has a very good view of the pitch, it is not necessarily a disadvantage.

"It was a poor game from us against Spurs last time; I expected before that we would have lots to work on but it was not the team that we are competing against in the league, there was a big difference on the night and that did not surprise me."

on team spirit...

"I am always focused on building the team spirit. It’s a fundamental part on which you build everything else like tactical performance or training sessions. It is important that the group comes in the morning and they feel comfortable in the dressing room, there are rules, there is discipline and that builds up a good time together.


"I am a manager who wants to be respectful but also demanding and they know exactly what I want them to show me; if they don’t then I criticise everyone in my team from the best player at that time to the guy in the last row. Everyone hears what is good and what is not good because I want to make everyone better. I think every player appreciates that.

"I have had personal meetings with the goalkeepers recently for example because I have had made a change there, they have to know why I did it and that I want to see more from everybody. I want to create a community that is focused in one direction. We need that because there is a long way to go."

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