Hasenhuttl confident he still has support of Southampton board

Ralph Hasenhuttl is convinced he retains the backing of Southampton’s board and has been touched by messages of support from fellow managers in the wake of the embarrassing 9-0 drubbing by Leicester.

Saints manager Hasenhuttl admits his struggling side are already embroiled in a Premier League relegation fight following the heaviest defeat in the club’s 134-year history.

The Austrian was quick to accept full responsibility for last Friday’s humiliation at the hands of the Foxes before being pleasantly surprised to subsequently receive kind words from some of his peers.

While those positive wishes provided a timely boost for the former RB Leipzig coach, reassurance from within his own club will provide far greater comfort.

Asked if he feels the Southampton’s hierarchy are still behind him, the 52-year-old replied: “Absolutely, yes.

“We speak always. Everybody here, they are good in communication – better sometimes than in playing football.

“Everybody sees what situation we are in and how much we do every day to fight back on the positive track.

“But no doubt we all know about the critical situation at the moment.

“We know that it is a season where it’s again about being relegated or not. This shows from the first 10 rounds (of matches).”

Hasenhuttl expressed gratitude and appeared genuinely moved while revealing he had been contacted by other coaches, although he was unwilling to disclose their identities.

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Manchester City, he said: “I must say that it is something new for me that other managers write me messages in that moment and it’s something that is maybe normal in the Premier League but I haven’t seen this before in Germany or in Austria.

“This shows me how big gentlemen they are and I think it helps everybody, positive messages from very successful managers.

“That was very surprising for me and I appreciate that very much, thank you for that. Everybody’s help is something that builds you up and this is a nice experience for me.”

Southampton set numerous unwelcome records during the thrashing by Brendan Rodgers’ men, including the highest home defeat in top-flight history, as well as equalling the biggest loss of the Premier League era.

Hasenhuttl was aware before the rout that he needs to recruit reinforcements during the January transfer window.

“You wouldn’t need the 9-0 to know that in positions we need new players. It mustn’t be this result that shows me we have to do so,” he said.

“It would be nice if we have more options in the winter transfer window but it is not the moment to think about this.

“We have to trust the players that are here and the players we are working with and that they can do it better. They know it and I know it and let us come to work together.”

Southampton restored a modicum of pride by showing far more fight during Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Wednesday.

Having taken just a single point from the previous 15 available, Saints return to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday in 18th position and facing another daunting test of their credentials.

“I think last year when I was taking over this club, we had 16 games and nine points,” said Hasenhuttl, who was appointed in December.

“I don’t want to have this again so let us take a few points early and start at the weekend.”

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