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5 things Ralph Hasenhuttl needs to address at Southampton

5 things Ralph Hasenhuttl needs to address at Southampton
© Reuters
The Austrian coach will be at Wembley for Southampton's Premier League match against Tottenham.

Southampton have appointed Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager following the sacking of Mark Hughes.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the key issues for the Austrian to address when he walks into his office at St Mary's Stadium.

Build from the back

Mark Hughes was sacked on Monday
Mark Hughes was sacked on Monday (Andrew Matthews/PA)

An old cliche, but one which nevertheless would serve the 51-year-old well, or indeed any other new coach. Had Hughes' side been able to hold onto their 2-0 lead over Manchester United on Saturday, then he most probably would still have been in a job. Hasenhuttl should get a good view of what work needs to be done when taking in Wednesday's Premier League match against Tottenham at Wembley.

Get the home fans on side – quickly

Southampton's Stuart Armstrong celebrates scoring. (PA)
Southampton let a 2-0 lead slip as Manchester United fought back to draw at St Mary's (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Southampton' failure to hold out against United means the wait goes on for a first home Premier League win, with five draws and two defeats so far. The first opportunity for Hasenhuttl to ingratiate himself with the Saints faithful comes on December 16 with the visit of Arsenal. No-one said this was going to be easy...

Settle on a system

Hughes had experimented with three at the back in recent fixtures, which worked well despite a penalty shoot-out defeat to Leicester in the Carabao Cup, but not so when 3-4-3 left them overrun by United's recovery. Southampton have the personnel to be versatile, but need to get the right balance at both ends as a priority.

Pick your battles

Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku (right) scores a goal. (PA)
Manchester United produced the required response having fallen 2-0 behind at Southampton (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Getting anything out of United, whatever indifferent form they may be in at the time, is always a bonus, so in isolation a draw could be viewed as a positive result. The upcoming games, though, do not get any more unforgiving with a trip to Wembley against a Spurs side out to make a point following their north-London derby defeat. Hasenhuttl is set to be in full control for the away game at Cardiff for a fixture against one of their direct relegation rivals which should be targeted for maximum returns along with the visit to Huddersfield before Christmas.

Buckle up, this could get bumpy

Former Unterhaching and RB Leipzig coach Hasenhuttl brings with him a reputation for giving youngsters a chance and a progressive playing style, with the emphasis on hard work and fitness. However, the hustle and bustle of an unforgiving and relentless English top flight is like nothing the Austrian will have experienced first hand before. Time is a luxury he simply will not have, so needs to hit the ground running – or face the consequences.

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Ralph Hasenhuttl in charge of RB Leipzig in April 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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