Southampton have confirmed the appointment of Ralph Hasenhuttl as the new manager at St Mary’s.
The 51-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal at the struggling Premier League side after being named as Mark Hughes’ appointment following his dismissal on Monday.
The departing RB Leipzig coach is expected to be in the stands on Wednesday night as Saints take their fight for survival to Wembley and a clash against high-flying Tottenham.
Explaining the decision to opt for Hasenhuttl, Saints chairman Ralph Krueger told the club’s official site: “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 Hasenhüttl 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. 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 FC 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. 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.”
1.76 – Ralph Hasenhüttl averaged 1.76 points per Bundesliga match with Leipzig and led them to 2nd place in 2016-17 – the best ever finish for a Bundesliga debutant (first season 1963-64 excluded). Saintly. pic.twitter.com/7193VRs6Cj
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 5, 2018
Saints have announced that Hasenhuttl will be supported by existing first -team assistant coach Kelvin Davis, head of goalkeeping Dave Watson and head of sports science Alek Gross.
The German has gained an exciting reputation in Germany for playing high-energy, attacking football whilst developing a series of young players in his squad and recently led RB Leipzig to the Europa League quarter-finals, having finished runners-up in the Bundesliga in his first season in charge.
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