Hasenhüttl on Pep conundrum

By SFC Media time Thu 16 Sep Man City vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson

Ralph Hasenhüttl has been speaking about the mutual respect held between himself and Saturday's managerial opponent Pep Guardiola, as Southampton prepare to face Manchester City in Premier League action.

The boss explained how he relishes the opportunity to meet teams with the quality of Man City, not least because the tactical challenge is one of the toughest around, perhaps in world football.

Hasenhüttl also revealed that he had exchanged some messages with the backroom team at RB Leipzig, his former club, in the aftermath of their 6-3 defeat to City in the week, but despite that, is confident his current side can make Saturday's encounter awkward for the reigning champions. 

"The warm words from Pep [Guardiola] you usually get after the game, when he has won," Hasenhüttl began, in jest. "So that's nice. I enjoy these games, to be honest, against Pep.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Ralph Hasenhuttl (L) and Pep Guardiola (R) ahead of the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Manchester City at St Mary's Stadium on July 5, 2020 in Southampton, United Kingdom. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty 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)
Ralph Hasenhüttl greets Pep Guardiola at St Mary's

"It's pure football, pure Premier League, it's the highest level. This is why you want to do this job. You know how tough it is, this is the challenge and the thing we like.

"To surprise Pep is quite hard, because he always finds the answers. But our goal is to keep the game open as long as possible.

"I know Pep will come with everything they have, it will be tough to compete. But we have also some qualities and we must believe in what we are doing. We want to be a nasty team to play against, and then you need luck and the ball in the right moments.

"This is why the Premier League is so special, every weekend you face fantastic opponents. Very experienced managers. The feeling before a game is a mixture of enjoying what is to come, high respect about the opponent, but always hoping for the big surprise for everybody. We go there with a good balance of braveness and respect."

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