Southampton appoint Ralph Hasenhuttl as new manager to replace sacked Mark Hughes

Ralph Hasenhuttl has been appointed as Southampton's new manager, succeeding Mark Hughes in the role after his sacking at the start of the week.

The Saints terminated the Welshman's contract after a dismal start to the 2018-19 season which has seen the club slip into the Premier League's bottom three.

Hasenhuttl had been out of work since leaving RB Leipzig back in June, after guiding the club into the Champions League during his two-year spell.

A Southampton statement read: "Hasenhuttl has gained an exciting reputation in Germany for playing high-energy, attacking football whilst developing the young players within his squads. Most recently, he led RB Leipzig to the Europa League quarter-finals, having finished runners-up in the Bundesliga in his first season in charge."

He will begin his first-team duties on Thursday and will be supported by existing first-team assistant coach Kelvin Davis, head of goalkeeping Dave Watson and head of sports science Alek Gross.

Saints chairman Ralph Krueger said: “The urgency to find a path back to our potential and to the results that we expect cannot be underestimated. For that reason, we are extremely pleased that Ralph Hasenhuttl has agreed to become our new manager and do all he can to help guide us back on that path.

“This manager change offers us a fresh start and, very quickly, Ralph emerged as our ideal candidate. As a coach, he embodies the passion, structure, communication skill set, work ethic and appetite for growth that we strive for in our Southampton Way. The quick, smooth and seamless negotiation process underlines the character of the person that he is.

“We have been aware of Ralph since his days at FC Ingolstadt, where he showed the qualities that we believe we need at the club. He has since gone on to develop those attributes with a track record of success in the Bundesliga and with a progressive and ambitious club in RB Leipzig.

“As soon as we met, Ralph’s enthusiasm for football was contagious and his hunger to take on a new and challenging job in the Premier League was evident. In our discussions, he very quickly aligned himself with the values and the vision of the club.

“Southampton Football Club’s past success was built on a clear identity. The foundation of this identity was a focus on developing players, whether from within our academy or after joining from other clubs. Ralph’s ability to teach the game and to develop talent is evident in his past and is a centrepiece of why he is the perfect choice to be the new Saints manager.”

Hasenhuttl's first game in charge will be on Saturday, as Southampton travel to Cardiff City for their next Premier League fixture.

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