Southampton confirm Ralph Hasenhuttl as their new manager

Southampton have confirmed the appointment of Ralph Hasenhuttl as their new manager.

The Austrian has penned a two-and-a-half-year contract and will take over from caretaker manager Kelvin Davis on Thursday, after the game against Spurs.

He replaces Mark Hughes, who was sacked on Monday after a run of just three wins in the Premier League since his appointment. 

Southampton have confirmed the hiring of Ralph Hasenhuttl on a two-and-a-half year deal

Southampton have confirmed the hiring of Ralph Hasenhuttl on a two-and-a-half year deal

Southampton have confirmed the hiring of Ralph Hasenhuttl on a two-and-a-half year deal

The 51-year-old has been out of work since leaving Leipzig at the end of last campaign

The 51-year-old has been out of work since leaving Leipzig at the end of last campaign

The 51-year-old has been out of work since leaving Leipzig at the end of last campaign

SOUTHAMPTON FIXTURES UNTIL THE END OF 2018 

December 5 vs Spurs (away)

December 8 vs Cardiff (away)

December 16 vs Arsenal (home)

December 22 vs Huddersfield (away)

December 27 vs West Ham (home)

December 30 vs Man City (home) 

Davis, head of goalkeeping Dave Watson and head of sports science Alek Gross will form his backroom staff.

Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger said: ‘The urgency to find a path back to our potential and to the results that we expect cannot be underestimated. 

‘For that reason, we are extremely pleased that Ralph Hasenhuttl has agreed to become our new manager and do all he can to help guide us back on that path.

‘This manager change offers us a fresh start and, very quickly, Ralph emerged as our ideal candidate. 

Hasenhuttl managed RB Leipzig in the Champions League for the first time ever last season

Hasenhuttl managed RB Leipzig in the Champions League for the first time ever last season

Hasenhuttl managed RB Leipzig in the Champions League for the first time ever last season

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Season at a glance

  • Premier League
  • Premier League
  • Championship
  • League One
  • League Two
  • Scottish Premiership
  • Scottish Div 1
  • Scottish Div 2
  • Scottish Div 3
  • Ligue 1
  • Serie A
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga

‘As a coach, he embodies the passion, structure, communication skill set, work ethic and appetite for growth that we strive for in our Southampton way. 

‘The quick, smooth and seamless negotiation process underlines the character of the person that he is.

‘We have been aware of Ralph since his days at Ingolstadt, where he showed the qualities that we believe we need at the club. 

‘He has since gone on to develop those attributes with a track-record of success in the Bundesliga and with a progressive and ambitious club in RB Leipzig

‘As soon as we met, Ralph’s enthusiasm for football was contagious and his hunger to take on a new and challenging job in the Premier League was evident. 

The Saints sacked Mark Hughes (right) after his side drew 2-2 with Manchester United

The Saints sacked Mark Hughes (right) after his side drew 2-2 with Manchester United

The Saints sacked Mark Hughes (right) after his side drew 2-2 with Manchester United

‘In our discussions, he very quickly aligned himself with the values and the vision of the club. 

‘Southampton Football Club’s past success was built on a clear identity. The foundation of this identity was a focus on developing players, whether from within our academy or after joining from other clubs. 

‘Ralph’s ability to teach the game and to develop talent is evident in his past and is a centrepiece of why he is the perfect choice to be the new Saints manager.’

The 51-year-old had been out of work since leaving Bundesliga side RB Leipzig at the end of last season. 

Hasenhuttl will take charge of Southampton for the first time against Cardiff at the weekend

Hasenhuttl will take charge of Southampton for the first time against Cardiff at the weekend

Hasenhuttl will take charge of Southampton for the first time against Cardiff at the weekend

Hasenhuttl took charge of Leipzig between 2016 and 2018, leading them into the Champions League for the first time.

He has also previously managed Ingolstadt, Aalen and Unterhaching.

He will take charge of Southampton for the first time when they face Cardiff on Saturday. 

WHO IS RALPH HASENHUTTL? 

Who is Ralph Hasenhuttl?

As a floppy-haired striker for Austria Vienna, he picked up several league titles in his homeland before becoming something of a Bundesliga journeyman in the second half of his playing career.

His coaching career only took off at his second attempt, as he led lowly VfR Aalen into the German second division before moving to Ingolstadt and hauling them into the top flight.

It was at RB Leipzig, though, that Hasenhuttl became a household name. Tasked with keeping the freshly promoted side in the Bundesliga, he led them to second place in his first season and secured Europa League football in his second.

The 51-year-old led Ingolstadt to the Bundesliga in 2015 after winning the Bundesliga 2

The 51-year-old led Ingolstadt to the Bundesliga in 2015 after winning the Bundesliga 2

The 51-year-old led Ingolstadt to the Bundesliga in 2015 after winning the Bundesliga 2

Why didn’t he stay at Leipzig if he was so successful?

Having enjoyed two seasons of Bundesliga success and a run to the Europa League quarter-finals under Hasenhuttl, the fans were still singing his name at the end of last season.

Yet tactics, transfer policy and long-winded contract negotiations had seen Hasenhuttl’s relationship with sporting director Ralf Rangnick rapidly deteriorate. 

Come the summer, it was clear the two men could no longer work together, and Hasenhuttl had to go.

Hasenhuttl left RB Leipzig after a fallout with Ralf Rangnick - but the fans love him

Hasenhuttl left RB Leipzig after a fallout with Ralf Rangnick - but the fans love him

Hasenhuttl left RB Leipzig after a fallout with Ralf Rangnick – but the fans love him

What kind of coach is he?

Hasenhuttl has often been compared to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, and even earned the nickname ‘Klopp of the Alps’ while at Ingolstadt. Like Klopp, he wears his heart on his sleeve, and is not averse to the occasional display of touchline emotion.

He is also much more at home in a tracksuit than a shirt and tie. After he donned a suit for Leipzig’s Champions League debut last season, Hasenhuttl admitted that his players had laughed at him in the dressing room. Tactically, too, he is a man after Klopp’s own heart, setting his teams up to press energetically and seek a direct route to goal.

Yet Hasenhuttl is less of a showman than the Liverpool boss. A more reserved character in press conferences and more of a disciplinarian on the training pitch, Hasenhuttl is more likely to give critics an icy stare than a disarming joke.

Hasenhuttl has been compared to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for his style of play

Hasenhuttl has been compared to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for his style of play

Hasenhuttl has been compared to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for his style of play

How do his teams play?

Underdogs Ingolstadt were something of a destructive force under Hasenhuttl, and they scrapped and snarled their way to unexpected survival in their first year in the Bundesliga. Yet Hasenhuttl naturally tends towards attacking football, and he was able to truly unleash those instincts at Leipzig.

Built around the tenacity and class of Naby Keita in midfield, his Leipzig side surprised the Bundesliga with exhilarating, pacy football in his first season.

Ferocious counter-pressing, excellent transitional play and the raw pace and deadly finishing of Timo Werner made Leipzig a match for any team on their day.

Southampton fans can be reassured Hasenhuttl knows how to battle against relegation

Southampton fans can be reassured Hasenhuttl knows how to battle against relegation

Southampton fans can be reassured Hasenhuttl knows how to battle against relegation

Will he hold his own in the Premier League?

In theory, the pace and openness of modern Premier League football should suit Hasenhuttl well.

His only problems at Leipzig came later in his tenure, as opposing teams started to set up defensively and he struggled to push through a more possession-based approach. When his team are the underdogs and there is space to counter-attack, he should flourish tactically.

Southampton fans, meanwhile, can draw hope from Hasenhuttl’s record. At both Aalen and Ingolstadt, the Austrian took over with the club in the relegation zone. At both clubs, it took him just 18 months to turn misery into magic and lead them to promotion. 

Saints fans will hope he can cajole rather than console players come the season end

Saints fans will hope he can cajole rather than console players come the season end

Saints fans will hope he can cajole rather than console players come the season end

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