Southampton boss Hasenhuttl planning for the future
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has hinted at rotation for the remainder of the season as he plans for the future.
Hasenhuttl has performed a minor miracle to steer Southampton away from relegation danger after a terrible start to the season.
Southampton sat 18th with just eight points from 10 matches after losing 9-0 at home to Leicester on October 25.
They looked prime candidates to suffer relegation and Hasenhuttl’s position at St Mary’s was under serious pressure.
The board, however, stood by their man and that decision has paid off as Hasenhuttl turned Southampton’s fortunes around.
A run of just two defeats in 10 matches from November 23 to January 11, which saw them earn revenge over Leicester with a 2-1 win at the King Power Stadium, saw them climb up to 12th spot and seven points clear of the bottom three.
Saturday’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa has edged them even further clear of the drop zone and they currently have a 10-point buffer.
Safety is yet to be mathematically confirmed but Hasenhuttl is happy with their exploits and already starting to plan for Premier League football in 2020-21.
That was evident as he deployed academy product Will Smallbone for his Premier League debut against Villa.
Premier League debut ✅ And 3 Points 🙌🔥 pic.twitter.com/E5LlDpO0ue
— Will Smallbone (@WSmallbone) February 22, 2020
Hasenhuttl was full of praise for the 20-year-old and believes “he’s the future” for Southampton.
The Austrian hinted Smallbone and potentially one or two other youngsters could be handed gametime as he looks to set them up for next term.
Hasenhuttl said: “Now we have 34 points and we now can start to look to the future for next season, what players we have for next year. This is more important than everything else.”
Left-back Jake Voskins is expected to get a look in after impressing, and scoring, when Southampton beat Huddersfield 2-0 in the FA Cup.