Former Southampton defender Jason Dodd has been speaking to The Daily Echo prior to the club’s crucial Premier League clash away at Brighton and Hove Albion this weekend, and he thinks manager Ralph Hasenhuttl will be disappointed about one thing.
Well, the former Saints skipper believes the south coast outfit, who currently lie two points above the relegation zone and three adrift of their Saturday opponents, can’t afford to lose at the Amex Stadium.
While he has been impressed with what he has seen of the team under the tutelage of the popular Austrian following his appointment in December, he feels that the 51-year-old would have expected to be higher up in the standings now.
As per The Daily Echo, Dodd said: “Ralph Hasenhuttl’s added stability but I imagine he would have thought they’d have pushed on a little bit further.”
He probably is, yes.
While Hasenhuttl clearly inherited a group of players that was really struggling under predecessor Mark Hughes, there is no doubt that with the quality they have in the squad they shouldn’t be as close to the relegation spots as they are right now.
The former RB Leipzig coach would have been buoyed by the wins against Arsenal and Huddersfield Town prior to Christmas and probably expected the team to go from strength to strength from there, but instead it has been a far more gradual process of improvement.
Avoiding defeat – and ideally winning – against Brighton on Saturday would be another big step towards survival.