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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Southampton appoint Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager on two-and-a-half-year deal

Former RB Leipzig manager succeeds Mark Hughes with the club third bottom of the Premier League table

Ralph Hasenhuttl was been appointed Southampton manager ahead of their Premier League clash against Tottenham. AFP
Ralph Hasenhuttl was been appointed Southampton manager ahead of their Premier League clash against Tottenham. AFP

Ralph Hasenhuttl has been tasked in reviving Premier League strugglers Southampton's fortunes after being named their new manager on Wednesday.

The 51-year-old Austrian, who comes into the role on the back of Mark Hughes being sacked on Monday, has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract.

Hasenhuttl attracted Southampton's interest through his success at his previous club RB Leipzig, guiding them to second in the German Bundesliga in the 2016/17 season and the Europa League quarter-finals last term. He left Leipzig after they finished sixth in the 2017/18 Bundesliga campaign.

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"The urgency to find a path back to our potential and to the results that we expect cannot be underestimated," said Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger in a statement.

"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."

Hasenhuttl takes over a side that did show some improvement in a 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United last Saturday - although it was too late to save Hughes's job.

Krueger said Hasenhuttl's success in taking unheralded German side Ingolstadt from the foot of the second tier to promotion augured well for Southampton's future.

"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," Krueger said.

"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."