Ralph Hasenhuttl press conference: Looks to have the measure of what to expect from Newcastle United
Ralph Hasenhuttl has seen his team on the up in recent games.
Under significant pressure the last three matches have seen a 2-2 draw at Arsenal who needed a 96th minute equaliser.
Then a couple of 2-1 wins against Watford and Norwich have catapulted them out of the relegation zone.
Speaking ahead of the trip to Newcastle, Ralph Hasenhuttl is optimistic that Southampton can keep picking up points and looks to have a good handle on NUFC, whilst at the same time acknowledging it won’t necessarily be easy: ‘I expect a game with a very good organised opponent. They don’t have a lot of possession but they defend very well. They have a lot of counter attacks, they are very strong. Not an easy team to play against.’
However, Thursday night brought Steve Bruce’s negativity to a new ‘high’ and his team made sure he/they got away with it, largely thanks to an outstanding Martin Dubravka display.
Back at St James Park against a team that are still fourth bottom, will Steve Bruce open up and attack significantly more?
The Saint of course with the advantage of an extra day’s recovery.
Ralph Hasenhuttl pre-Newcastle United match press conference:
“The results (two wins and a draw in last three games) were very important for us (but) I think it’s still a long way to go.
“I saw the results yesterday in the Premier League…
“It’s important that you take points consistently and we have the next chance against Newcastle on Sunday.
“We have built up a bit of self confidence and with this self confidence we’ll go there and try to take something.
“It will be interesting how many (Newcastle) players will be rotated. I think they have a few slight injuries.
“We also have a few after the last game, it was a very intense third game in a week so we must have a look at the starting eleven.
“I expect a game with a very good organised opponent.
“They don’t have a lot of possession but they defend very well.
“They have a lot of counter attacks, they are very strong. Not an easy team to play against.
“I think for us it will be a little bit different.
“Like in the last game we had an opponent (Norwich) who was building up from behind which gave us a lot of chances. I think we had the highest amount of ball wins from our entire season I think.
“This will be a different game, with different tactical options. Let’s find a good game plan to take something.
“I spoke about finding back our trigger and our identity and I think this was the most the most important thing in the last three games.
“We could have won against Arsenal (a 2-2 draw, Arsenal scoring in the 96th minute), last two games we have won. It was a completely different performance from everyone. They were all played much more committed.
“The way we acted was intense and this is our identity. We must hold this high always.
“We must play like this, not give the opponents any chances. We are defending higher and keeping the opponent far away from our goal. This is more the style we want to play.
“The good thing is we have all of our players back. We’ve played against the big teams already, especially at home, in what was a very busy schedule.
“We’ve seen December as a time where we can pick up points. But we’ve already seen from these teams that this doesn’t guarantee that we will take something.
“I think the chance is there and it’s good that we’ve got back to having good performances because I think this is what you need against every opponent.
“We have now a squad, a first eleven, that have played twice, almost the same. I think this gives the players a good feeling and a good self confidence. I think this is more important than the teams that are coming up.”
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