• News

How Ralph Hasenhuttl has changed Southampton

Ralph Hasenhuttl
Getty Images

James Ward-Prowse feels that Hasenhuttl has helped Southampton rediscover their identity after struggling for the last few years.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has proven to be a calming influence for Southampton. Before the Austrian arrived, the Saints were stuck in a relegation dogfight and playing the sort of football that would make fans head to the exit doors.

However, Hasenhuttl arriving changed everything and the team avoided relegation. Although it shouldn’t be considered a great finish, the arrival of the Austrian tactician has given an indication that the club may have found the right man to lead them.

Before Hasenhuttl, the Saints had lost their way and were struggling to put together decent results on a consistent basis.

And Ward-Prowse feels that the new coach has brought about clarity to how they should play the game.

The Saints Academy graduate said: “I think we’ve rediscovered our identity over the last six months. We have a clear way of playing and what we stand for.

“Before, we didn’t really know what kind of team Southampton was. Now we do. We’re a hard-working, pressing side. We have to be athletes first.

“If we get that right, we can take our league position higher. We will be much fitter and should be able to finish the season more strongly, hopefully in the top ten.”

And the midfielder says that under Hasenhuttl he has found the love for the game.

Speaking to The Daily Star, Ward-Prowse also spoke about a programme that is a collaboration between the FA and McDonald’s.

He said: “McDonald’s and the FA have a great football programme which aims to provide five million hours of fun football for children across the UK by 2022.

“It’s a great programme to be involved in. It’s important for young players especially to not get too tied up into the seriousness of football. It’s important just to enjoy it.”