Hasenhüttl's West Ham press conference round-up

By SFC Media time Thu 02 May West Ham v Saints
Photo by James Bridle | Ralph Hasenhüttl

We bring you the key talking points from Ralph Hasenhüttl's press conference, as the Saints boss addressed the media ahead of Saturday's trip to West Ham United in the Premier League...

On celebrating survival…

Not that much. It was special in the moment when we were waiting on the pitch with a little bit of celebrating.

It’s different to winning a championship. We are happy, we worked hard for this and came from a dangerous position, so it’s brilliant we are safe, but it’s more like a point of making a new start for the future. We know the hard work will start from now.

I’m very happy we were a little bit successful in this time. It was a new step for me in a new league with a new language.

I was not sure if I could immediately put things into the team that I wanted to, but when I look back it hasn’t worked that bad. Normally the first half year is the most difficult one, but we’ve made the first step together in a good way.

On building for next season…

Yes, absolutely. We try to build the most important things for the next year in the next two weeks.

We want to make a few changes and we must think about getting better in every position in the club.

That means we have to be clear about what was ok and where we still have potential to grow and make next year a big step forward. 

Signing players is one thing; knowing what expertise we need in this club is the other. That is the reason we try to scan every part of the club and that’s what we are doing.

On extra income for finishing higher…

You shouldn’t remind me because I know this! It is something that is clear – a bonus for the players also. 

We know we have two games to play and the only thing we want to do is win these two games.

We trained yesterday and today and tried to find the right shape for the weekend.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 27: Maya Yoshida during a Southampton FC training session at the Staplewood Campus on March 27, 2019 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Maya Yoshida remains sidelined after missing the 3-3 draw with AFC Bournemouth 

On team news…

Maya (Yoshida) is still not able to play. Jannik Vestergaard’s season is over because he had a small issue. We have no injured players apart from these two and Michael Obafemi, who is long term. 

Lemina is an option for the weekend. Stuey Armstrong couldn’t play from the beginning (against Bournemouth) and is now an option.
 
Finally, we have a few players who show they want to play the last two games who didn’t play that much in the last weeks.

They see the chance to play from the beginning and show up in the training sessions. It is not necessary to rotate five or six players now we are safe, but for one or two players maybe it’s a chance to get a place in the starting XI.

On what to expect from West Ham…

We know that we lost the first game against them after being in the lead, so we want to do it better against a good team in an away game.

I think we have to find a good shape in this game. It is interesting because tactically they are very committed and against Tottenham you see how much quality they have in the team – good attacking players with speed.

Anderson in the first game was the guy who killed us and Marko Arnautović didn’t play against us but now he is back in the team.

It will be a very interesting game. For us, we have two chances and maybe we could take six more points that would help us a lot and place us better in the rankings.

On the rules around concussion…

I think it’s a very dangerous situation. I think the slogan is ‘go with your head where it hurts’, which means we demand them to be brave and go into duels.

The game is very dynamic and gets more dynamic every year. That’s maybe why these injuries are getting more and more.

We have to pay attention because it’s a massive injury if you get hit on the head. It’s something you cannot avoid completely because players have to go in for duels in the air.

On challenging for the top six or seven…


I think every team below the top six wants to be the best of the rest, so every club has this target.

I think if we make a few good signings in the summer and have a good start next season, we are in an area of the table that feels easier to develop the guys because you don’t have that much pressure, and then you never know what happens.

It is not our target to go into the new season and say if we finish seventh it is a good year and if we finish tenth it is a bad year. Our first target is always to come as quickly as possible to 40 points and if we reach that, we can think about other targets.

At the end of the season you get what you deserve. This year we deserve to be 16th or 15th maybe, but no more, because for the whole year that was what we deserved to get.

Next year, if you play better from the beginning and consistently take points, maybe you get more for this. I’m not the guy who feels comfortable if I’m seventh or eighth.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: Ralph Hasenhuttl during a Southampton FC training session at the Staplewood Campus on April 18, 2019 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Hasenhüttl has been keen to promote young players from the Academy

On money to spend in the summer…

I think everybody knows that, although we are following The Southampton Way, it is not possible to be successful without signing players.

That is only possible with money. We will spend money, that’s for sure, but how much we spend depends on how much we get for the players we sell. That is also important.

I guarantee we will try to bring players here who see us as the next step in their development.

That is the most important goal we have – that they are not too old, they are signing their first or second contract and they see us as a big chance to show up in the Premier League.

If they are hungry and want to hunt, then they are welcome and can help us to develop this club.

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