The Athletic’s Dan Sheldon has outlined the plan Southampton will have if Ralph Hasenhuttl was to leave the club.
In recent times, the Saints boss has been linked with the vacant role at Aston Villa after they sacked former manager Dean Smith.
While it’s not certain that Hasenhuttl will leave to go and take charge of the Birmingham-based side – with Steven Gerrard seemingly the favourite at the moment – there still remains a chance that he could depart.
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Of course, the south coast boss will eventually have to leave the club at some point (whether it be on his own terms or if he gets fired). And so, Sheldon described what he expects the Saints to do when that eventually comes to pass.
While speaking as a guest on the 1874 podcast, the reporter explained that the club won’t go for a ‘Tony Pulis type’ but rather someone who ‘suits the players they have’.
He said: “From conversations I have all the time, it’s unlikely Southampton are going to veer from that. So if Hasenhuttl was to depart at some point, they’re not going to go all of a sudden and get, I don’t know, a Tony Pulis-type manager who is going to play a different style of football.
“They’ll find a manager that suits the players they have, the style they want to play as a club.
“But one thing I will say on Ralph, and that probably gets overlooked at times, is he loves the environment at Southampton. You know, everything is kind of geared towards him. And that’s quite a big thing.”
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It’s certainly fair to say that Hasenhuttl has a very defined way that he tries to get his teams to play. Indeed, he is noted for his high pressing in particular, something which has earned the Austrian the nickname the ‘Alpine Klopp’.
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His time in England with Southampton has yielded varying degrees of success. Last season, they struggled to a 15th-placed finish, but before that, they pushed for a top-half placing and ended up 11th.
Even so, Sheldon claiming that the club want to carry on with a similar style of play even after Hasenhuttl leaves, does suggest that the board are happy with the job he is doing.
With this in mind, they’ll likely be very sad to see him go if Aston Villa come in with an approach. Though, judging by Sheldon’s claims, there’s every chance the Austrian would turn it down as he ‘loves the environment at Southampton’.