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Ralph Hasenhuttl happy with progress after two years at Southampton

Ralph Hasenhuttl File Photo
(Image credit: Clive Brunskill)

Ralph Hasenhuttl believes Southampton are moving in the right direction ahead of his two-year anniversary at the club on Saturday.

Saints were 18th in the table, with just three wins from 22 Premier League games under previous manager Mark Hughes, when the Austrian arrived at St Mary’s on December 5, 2018.

They have enjoyed an impressive start this season, including a brief period at the top of the table, and are currently sixth with 17 points from their opening 10 matches.

“I am very happy where I am, I feel that it fits absolutely together and this was the reason why, when I got the chance to extend my contract, I did it,” Hasenhuttl said.

“(I’m) very thankful for being here. To be honest it was a long way to come to the position we are now, it was a good start, then a tough start to the second year and now we are more and more coming to the direction that I want to be as a manager of this team.

“What I didn’t think about was that it would take so long until we could change the mentality and the behaviour completely, and I think it looks now that we have made this last very important step and hopefully now we don’t fall back into old behaviours and to old mistakes that we made.

“The Premier League is always tough and it’s on us to keep them hungry, to stay focused, but yes it was absolutely the right decision to come here and for me it is absolutely enjoyable this job, every day.”

Southampton will travel to Brighton for a south coast derby on Monday as they look to build on their good start to the season, against a club who held champions Liverpool to a draw last weekend.

Saints have come out on top in recent encounters between the two sides, and are unbeaten in the fixture since 2012, with three wins from their last five, although the manager insisted they are a difficult team to face.

“When you watch them play you think they must have more points and it was last season the same,” Hasenhuttl said.

“(They are a) really tough opponent to play against and they do a good job there, so always tough to go there and win games.

“We have a good record there since I was here but there are no guarantees, we have to go there and give the best we have and hopefully it’s enough to take the three points.”