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Southampton make decision on Ralph Hasenhuttl's future after historic 9-0 defeat by Leicester - report

Ralph Hasenhuttl

Southampton's board would rather overhaul the playing squad than sack Ralph Hasenhuttl, according to reports.

Saints suffered a dismal 9-0 loss to Leicester on Friday night, equalling the record for the biggest defeat in Premier League history.

Leicester's success was also the widest ever margin of victory for an away team since England's top tier was rebranded in 1992.

The manner of Southampton's performance led many to wonder whether the club would sack Hasenhuttl before next weekend's clash with Manchester City.

However, the Daily Telegraph report that the former RB Leipzig boss retains the backing of his superiors at St Mary's.

The appointment of Hasenhuttl last season was seen as a major coup for Southampton, who clambered away from relegation trouble under the Austrian.

The south coast side have had a poor start to the current campaign, though, and now occupy 18th spot after Friday's demolition by Leicester.

Nevertheless, the Southampton board have faith that Hasenhuttl will turn things around in the coming weeks.

Club staff were informed on Saturday that the ownership have "unshakeable" belief in the man who guided Leipzig to a second-place finish in the Bundesliga in 2016/17.

Majority owner Gao Jisheng and chief executive Martin Semmens acknowledge that an overhaul of the squad is necessary given Saints' difficulties in recent seasons.

And both men believe that Hasenhuttl is the ideal manager to oversee an evolution that they hope will see the club challenge for European qualification once more.

The board are prepared to open the cheque book in January, with full-back and centre-back the main areas in need of strengthening.

Jisheng and Semmes also believe that the squad is not currently built for Hasenhuttl's high-energy, heavy-pressing style of play.

Saints are next in action against Manchester City in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, before facing the same opponents in the Premier League next weekend.

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