I’m no friend of FA Cup replays – Hasenhuttl

Ralph Hasenhuttl reiterated his dislike for FA Cup replays ahead of Southampton’s trip to Tottenham.

Saints were held 1-1 by Spurs at St Mary’s last month and must now interrupt their winter break to do battle again in north London for the right to face Norwich in the last 16.

Hasenhuttl has called for no replays to be scheduled during the fortnight set aside for some time off next season.

The Saints boss said. “My personal opinion is I’m not a friend of these replays, first because it minimises the chances of the smaller teams to maybe make these big miracles and go through to the next round.

“The second thing is the schedule. We were all accepting that we would have this replay in the winter break.

“Maybe next year we should think about if it is really necessary to make it exactly in this week.

“This is something we must think about maybe that doesn’t make sense, because we speak about a winter break and there is no winter break.”

Nevertheless, Hasenhuttl has no intention of following Jurgen Klopp’s lead of fielding a team of youngsters, as the Liverpool boss is doing in their replay with Shrewsbury.

“It’s not the best but we have to accept it,” he added. “For us it’s not as hard as teams playing in the Champions League and continuing playing three games a week all season.

“But we didn’t fight for 90 minutes with Tottenham at home to then go there with another 23. It’s a very big game for us and that’s why we are taking it seriously.”

Hasenhuttl knows opposite number Jose Mourinho will also be taking the replay seriously as it offers Spurs their best chance of a trophy this season.

“Even if they rotate they have so much quality in the squad,” he said. “We’re expecting the best possible team from them.

“Also they are looking to get a trophy this season and it’s probably the best way for Tottenham to get one. They will do everything to get into the next round, but so will we.”

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