Press conference round-up: Aston Villa

By SFC Media time Thu 19 Dec Aston Villa v Saints
Photo by Isabelle Field | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Here are the key points of interest from manager Ralph Hasenhüttl's pre Aston Villa press conference.

On team news...

"[Sofiane] Boufal is still not in the team training. He still has some issues with some movements so without an injection he is still unable to train.

“But it’s getting better and better and I think there is light at the end of the tunnel, so we can wait for him. Maybe he is also in the squad for the weekend and if he can train tomorrow we will try it again and then have a look.

 

“Moussa [Djenepo] is out for the weekend. He has problems with his hamstring and the risk is too big. Maybe next week he starts again. It is only because of the risk that we don’t risk him because we have a lot of games over Christmas. It’s important that he gets 100 per cent fit.

 

“Then we also have ill players. Kevin Danso has been out for two days and Yan Valery is out for longer. I said last week that he won’t play again this year, maybe next year he is coming back.”

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On whether the illness has affected anyone else...

“In the moment you see the weather outside is wet and stormy. It’s not a big coincidence that somebody gets sick from time to time.

But we clean our hands every day thousands of times and we don’t kiss each other, so it’s fantastic.

 

“When I see the number of the doctor on my phone I know it’s a player and at this time of the year that can happen."

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19: during a Southampton FC Press Conference with Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl at the Staplewood Campus on December 19, 2019 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Ralph Hassenhüttl was in good spirits as he addressed the media.

On the importance of the game...

“I think we have a big game against an opponent that has exactly the same amount of points that we have. It’s an away game and we have showed up this season in away games and have shown some really good performances, so we go there to take something.

 

“We know about the importance of the game. We have 15 points at this time of the season and if we take another three then we will be closer to the clubs in front of us at the moment. It’s important that if we don’t take three points every week then we must have a performance where we can say, ‘Ok, we had the chance to take three points’.

 

“I think about our last away games in Newcastle and it was a really good game, we just didn’t get anything. A few points in our game we do it well for 70 per cent which isn’t enough in the Premier League when you forget about these things for a few minutes.

 

“The opponent is so strong that they kill you and the goal for the next game is to focus on the 90 minutes or, if it’s necessary 100 minutes.”

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Danny Ings during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and West Ham United at St Mary's Stadium on December 14, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Moorhouse/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Danny Ings had scored in five consecutive games prior to Saturday's West Ham defeat. (Photo: Chris Moorhouse)

On attendance at home games...

“I think at home when you show up and when you create a lot of chances they [the fans] are there and they support you. But it’s always on us to do it.

“It’s a little bit different at the away games, where the fans are very positive from the first moment and support us in a different way. The difference between the home and away fans, you can feel it.

“We really try to give both the vest we have to make them happy and to make them proud of us. I know we haven’t done in that often in recent times, we had a few good games at home, but also a lot of not so good ones.

“This is normal that the support is maybe not on the highest level. But if you want to be successful together then it’s important to give the guys patience and credit for the hard work they do.”

On his players' mentality...

“I see them working every day. They are working on their weaknesses every day and this is what I expect as a manager. I demand a lot and they are following.

"When I see us playing now compared to one month ago, not because we took more points in the last month, we are more active. That doesn’t mean we are more perfect because in the last game I was very disappointed.

“But when I saw the game once again I must say that we were really fighting for those points in the second half. We hit the post two times and had big chances but, in this game, we didn’t have the luck to turn the tables.

“We had chances and stayed on our game plan for most of the time. It was a pity that we didn’t take something, but the performance was much better than I thought it had been.”

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On the importance of the January transfer window...

“Absolutely important because we must see that we have a few positions where we can get new players in. We know this.

“The transfer window in the summer was not perfect for us. It is absolutely clear that we have to do something in the full-back position because even now we have one out.

“We only have Ryan Bertrand and Cedric Soares in these two positions, so this is definitely a position we are looking for at the moment.

“We will do something.”

On whether he will be bolstering the attack...

"I think we have much more options with a lot of players there waiting for there chances which is also the reason why we changed the shape to play with more offensive players.

"I need to get them on the pitch. We have quality in front with Sofiane when he is on the pitch. We never have the moment where we have all the players available that we want to have but Premier League teams don’t always have the players.

“We are looking for the moment where we can take everyone on the pitch because I think we have enough quality to score. It’s not our biggest problem because, if you watch our games, we always score.

 

“But the defence is something we must improve and we must do something in the transfer market.”

 

On his players' confidence...

 

“I think they are confident because they feel that it works when we do it. I think this is the most important thing.

 

"But the quality to do it for 90 minutes is sometimes when it’s not perfect, even then you have to win your one-on-one duels, and everybody helps in that moment.

“These are the moments where you win or lose games and is where we must be stronger and more aggressive and convinced we can defend like this.”

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19: Jan Bednarek(L) during a Southampton FC training session at the Staplewood Campus on December 19, 2019 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Jan Bednarek and Cédric in training on Thursday (Photo: Matt Watson)

On Aston Villa...

“I think it’s a team with a big squad. They played during the week with a different group and they were very successful, so you can see they have the quality in the second line.

“This is a strong team. At home, they’ve had good results but sometimes have the same problems we have: conceding too many goals and the tight games not going on their side.

“It will be an interesting game for us and we go there with 100 per cent focus on getting the win and being brave like we always are when we play away.

“After a good start, which we have very often away, keeping the points with us by getting the second or third goal and this is the goal we have.

“We go there with a lot of self-confidence.”

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