Press Conference Round-Up: Newcastle

By SFC Media time Wed 04 Nov Saints v Newcastle United
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has shared his thoughts with the media ahead of Saints' next Premier League fixture at home to Newcastle United on Friday night...

On Team News...


Yes we have a lot of injury concerns at the moment. I think our last game was definitely a very tough one. I think sometimes it was on the edge of what is okay for me. We still fight and won the game but we paid a high price.


"We have a lot of injuries at the moment and this is what causes me the most headache. I think we had a tough game and all in all it was under control and the result is five players have big issues.


"Jan Bednarek, I don’t know if he can train today. It was a horrible crash on the ground. Ryan Bertrand is maybe out for the weekend and (Ibrahima) Diallo has a dead leg after a hard kick.


"The worst thing is maybe Danny Ings because we said after the game we hope it’s not that bad and it could have been much worse after you watch the scene, it’s horrible to watch. At the moment it looks like he is out for four to six weeks.


"He will get surgery tomorrow morning, a small one, hopefully. It is one and that means we don’t have him but it could have been worse. He is out and this is not good news for us."

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Danny Ings of Southampton receives treatment during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Southampton at Villa Park on November 01, 2020 in Birmingham, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Danny Ings came off injured in the final minutes at Villa Park on Sunday. Photo: Matt Watson

On Danny Ings...


"The scan and the message (on Danny Ings on Monday morning) was exactly what we thought. We had a look at the scan and it wasn’t too bad. It showed issues but it could have been a lot worse situation or injury.


"We started running yesterday, a little bit of jogging on the pitch and his knee was swollen and in a little bit of pain. It was definitely a situation where he immediately stopped so it didn’t get worse and it was clear we needed another look.


"We've decided to go with the surgery because it was the safest way to have a 4-6 week break only. The knee problem is not a previous issue, it’s a small surgery and hopefully he won’t be out for too long."


"It’s never nice to lose a player like this but we can say we are more than Danny Ings. We scored three other goals in our last game so it’s a big loss but it’s important now for other players to give us alternatives.


"It might not be possible for someone else to play like Danny Ings at the moment but it’s also not necessary. Any player needs to come on and play his best game and then we get him in a position where he showcase his strength on the pitch.


"The issue is when you don’t perform how you can. We need a player in good form, not talent at the moment as we have lots of good talent. Then we will adapt the game to show his strengths."

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Ryan Bertrand of Southampton during the Premier League match between Burnley and Southampton at Turf Moor on September 26, 2020 in Burnley, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Ryan Bertrand also came off with an injury in the win against Aston Villa. Photo: Matt Watson

On Ryan Bertrand...


"To be honest in the left back position I have a bigger issue because Jake Vokins is injured so I have more to think about what to do there as my normal left backs are out.


"It’s a new situation and we must make the right decisions like always in football things can change so quickly and this is the energy we use now in the next 48 hours is to try and find the best squad to compete against a strong side and this is the work we need to do now.


"Ryan has a low grade tear on his hamstring. It definitely, I wouldn't think, make sense to take this risk as we have a two week break so it’s important he is fit so we probably won’t take the risk but when he feels it’s okay to do it we will."

On Newcastle...


“They (Newcastle) have tried lots of tactical variations so far, the shape is always changing. I think they have now found a shape but they are more stabilised, more compact, conceding not so many goals which is the key to taking more points.


"Sometimes it takes a little longer into the season to find the right shape but when you stick to it, it then works."

On International break...


"(The problem) for me, it’s not just about the travelling to go somewhere but about the coming together with other players from over the world, entering a new bubble, and it increases the spreading of your social contact.


"I mean, we also have Champions League teams travelling around Europe but this is in the same bubble but you could spread it to other clubs or teams. Then the risk is a higher one and we talk about minimising the risk so that we can continue playing.


"In the last International break we had a case of being tested positive which caused Stuart Armstrong to miss a game. In the end we don’t see the necessity of International games at the moment."

for us it's not about being top of the table but another chance to take points.

ralph hasenhüttl

On a surprise package winning the league this season...

"No (to a team outside the traditional top six) because in the end the top teams are just too strong and consistent in their performances. They have, in what is a tough programme, more use to this way of consistently winning so for us it’s not about being top of the table but about another chance to take points.


"Yes we want to play in the highest possible level and if we do this there is no reason why we shouldn’t win on Friday. We have shown some fantastic performances in the last few weeks and I want to show we are still hungry. We still want to make the next step and I think this is the only way to be motivated."


"Our general atmosphere during the week is always a focused one. I’m neither happy or comfortable with what we are doing. We have to learn that in our situation it’s good to keep both feet on the ground as then we are hungry and this is when we perform well.


"This is why we try to not be too enthusiastic when you speak about climbing to top of the league. It’s not really a topic in our daily work, it’s more a focus on what we didn’t do well in the second half in the last game.


"We want to have better game management with the ball and this is definitely a topic in today's session and then we have another session tomorrow before another tough game."

On James Ward-Prowse...


"I cannot show him (how to take free-kicks) you know. I cannot teach him so this technique he has worked on since he was a small boy. I don’t see him do this very often but he always takes them from the side and he knows how to make the ball fly.


"He did a lot of practice but now I don’t see him doing it very often. I have seen many players do it every day and are scoring and this is what I want to see more of. We want to see players scoring and that’s it."


On Nathan Redmond...


"The first thing I think he must show is the quality he has shown so often and we know he is a player we need at his best level.


"When he performs at his best level he is a threat for any opponent and we want him to get back to the level he was at before the summer break.

"When he is fit I’m sure he is able to give us a lift again and this is what I hope comes sooner rather than later. He can then show he deserves to be part of the first eleven."


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