Every word Ralph Hasenhuttl said on Chelsea, Nathan Redmond, Armando Broja and latest UEFA plans

Ralph Hasenhuttl has called on his Southampton players to make it a tough fight for Chelsea on Saturday.

Saints welcome Thomas Tuchel’s Blues to St Mary’s on Saturday in the Premier League, with Southampton looking to try and inflict a third straight defeat on the European champions, who are smarting after losses against Brentford and Real Madrid in the past week.

Tuchel has issued a warning to his players that if they play like they have done in the past two games, they will lose at Southampton as well, with the German keen to get a reaction from his players on the south coast.

READ MORE: Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole agree on what Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea remark may mean for Southampton

But Hasenhuttl has spoken about the challenge facing his side, with the Southampton boss speaking to the media this afternoon (Thursday) ahead of the game about Chelsea, Nathan Redmond, Armando Broja and more.

Here’s every word he said at his pre-match press conference.

What is the latest team news?

From the training ground this week, Lyanco is back in training with the team. [He’s completed the] first two sessions and today he made a rest, but it’s good to have him back on the pitch. [Alex McCarthy] is back in training, training with the goalkeeper team and is on the way back building up his qualities. Longy [Shane Long] was not involved in the sessions so far this week. Today he was light training outside with his ankle injury he had in the Leeds game. It’s not that serious. It was good we had a scan immediately and he rested for two days, and we’ll see how his ankle di lui reacts to the session today and let’s have a look if he’s available for the weekend.

What did you learn from Chelsea’s performance against Real Madrid last night?

That you need a player like [Karim] Benzema to play against them. I think Real Madrid are a very good side. Surprisingly good that they play in this way. First half the way they [Chelsea] played isn’t good enough for the Champions League. Thomas [Tuchel] knows this. The team also looked like they were affected by the home loss to Brentford. You could feel it. Not so confident with everything they do.

It’s a good thing to see that the big teams are struggling sometimes. The bad thing is that this doesn’t happen very often. So, as I know them and how they work, he [Tuchel] will be very critical with them and will try to find a reaction. I always expect the most difficult opponent, even if they win this game 3-0 and have the next game against them, that’s important for them also, and a Premier League game against Chelsea is always important to us, especially as I know it’s not easy coming here. I think it will be a tough game, tough fight and we’ll try to make it as tough for them as possible.

After back-to-back defeats, is this a good time to play the European Champions?

No it doesn’t make any difference. You don’t have to look at the results before, there’s a lot of quality in the team and there’s a lot of success in the past and it’s normal that sometimes coming into games they are running a little against you. We mustn’t concentrate on Chelsea, we must concentrate on us and the last games where we did some good stuff against them. On this task we have to focus, on this task we have to concentrate and try to make it even better because the last game in the Cup was a draw and then we lost on a penalty shootout. But you could see that this was a way of football that worked against them.

Are you worried about your form at the moment, without a win in five?

I think it was important in the last game against Leeds that we took something there. It was good that we showed a reaction. Take something there is okay for the team. I think we had good chances to win it, but in the end it was a tight game. And now we have two big teams at home at our ground and we’ve shown this season that we can play good games there and this is what we want to do.

James Ward-Prowse is in sparkling form this season – How are you getting the best out of him?

I think we’ve always tried to create an atmosphere where every player develops as the best he can and give him all the room to improve his qualities. I think it definitely helps when players are internationals, coming back from playing with the best players in the world for a week and a half. Kyle Walker-Peters was the same. I think it’s also good that we have a number of players on the road and coming back and wanting to be successful for us as a team. It gives us a good atmosphere.

Theo Walcott, Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond didn’t feature against Leeds. And since the turn of the year, they’ve played a combined 14 times for Southampton. Is this a sign that they might not be at the club next season?

This is a sign that we have a position with a lot of players. The hardest position to come in the first 11 because we have six number tens. It was a special situation in the last game was that we played a different shape and there was no ten. Maybe only one ten and that was the reason why we left them at home because I don’t need four 10s on the bench. So that was the reason why I left them at home. But we have made a decision to have a bigger side, a bigger squad and more alternatives. It was necessary this season and some moments when everyone’s fit you have a few tough decisions to take. I try to rotate, I try to give everyone a chance, but I’m also looking for the future for the club.



Nathan Redmond has found his opportunities limited in recent weeks for Southampton.

UEFA wants to change the rules so that FA Cup winners can qualify for the Champions League – but only if they are a club with a history of success in Europe. Reaction to that?

There is potentially no tougher cup to win than the FA Cup, because if you look at the semi-final, you have Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea, it sounds like a Champions League semi-final. I can agree that a win in the FA Cup should lead you to the Champions League because if you win this, you need to win a minimum against one or two of the best teams in the world. Otherwise you don’t win it. This is what it is every year, as there are too many good teams in England. So, when you win it, I agree, you can definitely be part of the Champions League because you deserve to be there. But it will not happen very often that a team without a big name will win the FA Cup in the future.

And finally, away from football – The Masters starts today. I know you are into your golf. Who are you going to be keeping your eye on at the Masters?

I just spoke about it. We didn’t pick the name so far. We need to do it fast as it starts soon. I’m still struggling with the right pick. Maybe a little different due to the special conditions, a little more wind, up and down and players can be a good pick.

Tiger Woods perhaps?

It’s tough. I know how tough it is to walk 18 holes, I also feel my hip after 18 holes and to do it for four days in a row. I think it’s tough, but you never know when you’re so good. When he wins with a bad knee and a bad leg, then you can say he’s the best in the world.



Armando Broja looks on
Armando Broja has impressed on loan at Southampton.

You won’t have Armando Broja this week, so will you have to change system without him?

The last game [against Chelsea] we did quite well. I would like to have him [Broja] because he is a threat, but I think this is a good rule that you cannot play against your parent club. It is not like this in other countries and you can end up with players playing and scoring against their clubs. I think this decision is better, but he would definitely help us in our game. We are not so sure about the shape at the moment.

What does Nathan Redmond have to do now? Because he started the season well and had five assists in the first half of the season?

Yes, he has a few assists but we have in the moment Moi (Elyounoussi) and Stuey (Armstrong) on ​​this position who score or are involved in a lot of goals. Then, it’s about being better than these two. If you are, then you deserve to play.

There is no manager in the world who does not pick the best possible team. So, offer something and then you get a chance to do it.

What is the latest with Alex McCarthy?

Alex is back in training, training with the goalkeeper team and is on the way back building up his qualities.

The last time you played Chelsea in October, they had lost their last two before the game. It is the same this time as well?

We lost 3-1 there. It didn’t help. It is not very often they lose three in a row, but this doesn’t help to think about these circumstances. You need to think about what you can do better and we prepare for this game. Normally good to have a whole week to look at our game and see them on Wednesday evening to find solutions. You have to have a perfect game when you play such teams, but it is possible.

What have you not done so well against them?

Our players know it. Like always, you are looking for the good things and things you can do better. Against such a team, you will be under pressure at times, and defending around your box. I see with Real Madrid how you can do it, they had only a few shots, but you need your goalkeeper to make saves, you need a perfect defense and to score against this team, you need quality up front in the right moments.

With Armando Broja ineligible, is this perhaps a chance for Adam Armstrong after waiting so long?

It is a chance for everybody to grab. You try to look at who offers the most and they should get a chance to play.

What did Brentford do so well to hurt Chelsea?

Brentford play a completely different way to how we do. They play with a back five, sitting very deep and they have two big lads up front and they play some long balls sometimes and win the second balls.

We play quite different, we have played a back five at times, we have done it against them quite well, but it is not only about the shape, it is about the right players in the right moments in dangerous positions. Maybe when you don’t have the, maybe, outrageous quality in certain positions, then you need to have more players around who can score and I think we have done this quite well.

Looking back at last weekend, was it brave to change the system, or a risk at Leeds?

I think it was, from the way that the game was played and what we wanted to do, it was not the wrong decision.

It is not always that easy that if you win, it works, if you don’t it didn’t.

But I think we have shown we are able to play different shapes. The players are so tactically developed it is not so difficult to change after only a few days of preparing and this is a good message. I think the future in football will be that you have teams who able to adapt their games. The better the team, the less you have to do it. The better the opponent, the bigger the difference normally and the more flexible you have to be, you have to surprise them in some moments.

How much are you looking forward to seeing Man City vs Liverpool on Liverpool and can you pick a winner?

It is a 50-50, in The Masters you have several who can win. It is a great game. Two of the best teams in Europe and the world at the moment. They show how dominant they are, and if I were a fan, I would buy a ticket for this game. I would love to watch them. These teams are fantastic to watch and I must say Liverpool, maybe we have had the most problems against them this season, but both deserve to be the champions.

They are both so consistent in taking wins and it is fantastic for the league how tight the title race is, to be honest. A lot of leagues in Europe are looking to England and saying how fantastic it is here, with such a tight race, which is what everybody wants.

In Germany, they are discussing about play-offs, because maybe it is always the same champion and it is a little boring, but it is very tight here. It is not every year like this, Man City last season were ahead, but Liverpool are pushing them and it is fantastic to see.

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