Press Conference round-up: Hasenhüttl's season preview

By SFC Media time Thu 04 Aug Tottenham Hotspur vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl spoke to the media ahead of Saints' Premier League opener at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Here's some of the key talking points...

On team news…

Theo Walcott hasn't had a pre-season so far, he’s not back in training.

Nathan Tella was also out with injury for a long time, he was back in training for the first time today, so he will also not be available this weekend.

On the new season…

You're always looking forward to the Premier League season, we know how exciting it is for it to start again, to be part of it, and for sure we are excited.

Risky to sign six players without Premier League experience?

Well, a risk, we know the kind of players we get – they have, if you want, a lot of fantasy; they can either help immediately or sometimes it takes a bit longer.

We have seen it in the past that some players need a year to adapt to the Premier League, some are so good that it goes quicker.

So we will not see all the new signings immediately from the start, they are young, they have to learn, but one or the other will get the chance to play immediately.

On the prospect of Gavin Bazunu starting in goal…

He's a good one, but I have still not made the decision and you will see it on Saturday.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Gavin Bazunu during the pre-season friendly match between Southampton FC and Villareal, at St Marys Stadium, on July 30, 2022 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Gavin Bazunu in action in Saints' last pre-season friendly against Villarreal

A big ask for a 20-year-old to be No 1?

Yes, this is the fact, but as you know our history, we are keen to give young players a chance to make their first steps in the Premier League.

This is what we did in the last years, we know what you have to expect from them, a lot of talent and effort and in some moments maybe some mistakes to learn from to get better.

That maybe costs sometimes in terms of total performance, if you want, but for us we were keen to do this in the past and we’re keen to do it again in the future also.

On Kyle Walker-Peters…

Before we go through every player who maybe has interest from someone else, we should maybe concentrate on the games ahead.

The transfer window is now open still for a long time, and this is something that will definitely affect your questions in the future.

But for me it’s more important to bring the players into the shape to compete in the Premier League, and this is the focus I have.

Positive memories of Spurs away last season…


It was a great game, for sure, one of our best last season. But there's nothing older than success from yesterday, so you have to do it again.

We have to show again we can compete, we will have to have a nearly perfect game to get something there.

On the Premier League captains’ decision to stop taking the knee before every game…

It was an okay decision, because as always things you get used to don't have the same impact as new things.

So we will think about new things to have a big impact, to help people remember what this is for. It's understandable that they want to change something.

Are Spurs a tougher test under Antonio Conte?

I think so, it was impressive that last season they managed to qualify for the Champions League.

It looked for a long time like they wouldn't manage it but with an impressive run of wins they managed to come back and to make this step.

Even higher, I think, was our performance against them, to be honest, because they have been in a good mode when they have played against us, so we showed we can be resilient and strong against them.

But he does a fantastic job there, and had also an interesting transfer window so far. He's spent a lot of money on the players he wanted, and this is a team with a squad that is normally able to try for the highest trophies.

Would you rather the transfer window was shut before the start of the Premier League?


No, I'm not so sure on the effect on prices when it’s open longer – some other clubs will also look at first games, how strong they are, or if they have weaknesses, so I'm not sure if prices of players will go up or down again even. Then the market is sometimes a bit stupid and strange.

But for us it was a good thing we could do this season some things that we normally could only do after selling a few players.

This was different this season definitely, and helped you to get some players in that you wish you can get, and what also makes sense for us I think.

I'm still of the opinion that 40 or £50million transfers make no sense for us. But quality to get and if it's young, okay no problem, take it.

This is the way we want to go, and it's good that we have done our job so far. But the transfer window is open so long that, if we do something we have enough time to do it.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09: Che Adams of Southampton celebrates during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 09, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Ché Adams celebrates his late winner on Saints' last visit to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

On the spirit shown away at Spurs last season…

You can create spirit with a good atmosphere but also with good results. And this helps massively. None of us Premier League clubs know exactly where we are at the moment, and so the first games are coming up and then you have to show how good you are and how far you are in the development of your quality. And for quality you need a good game-plan.

But, as you said, also spirit and readiness in the right moment and therefore we have to do everything. Over the last five weeks every club has been preparing for this first moment. And now we will see how far we are.

Any new signings ready to make a Tino-like impact?

We have to be careful always to not put too much pressure on them. I mean, it was not a disadvantage for Tino last season to step in immediately and play in the first game without a big conversations about him before.

Nobody expected him to play there. And this definitely helps you in the beginning I think to be a little bit under the radar and then showing up surprisingly, but you know the Premier League is tough.

We play against top teams and we will have to look at who is ready for this game. And when we think that he is then we take the – I don't want to say “risk” – but we take the advantage to give him the chance to play.

But something we’ve shown in the past is that we want to build them up carefully – like a flower that is growing – to take care of it because it should grow for longer here in this club.

Is Romain Perraud fit to play?

He had an injury last season and missed some parts of the pre-season – I think nearly the half of the time he has missed. But the last two weeks he was training and so he's now coming closer to be an option, and that’s a good thing.

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