I never wanted easy in my life - Hasenhuttl ready for hard work at Southampton

After fighting at the top end of the table with RB Leipzig, Ralph Hasenhuttl is determined to help Southampton avoid relegation.

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl (centre) at Wembley.   -  Julian Finney/Getty Images

Ralph Hasenhuttl is up for the challenge of steering Southampton to safety as he looks to make his mark in the Premier League.

The Austrian coach signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the struggling Saints to replace Mark Hughes, who was sacked on Monday with the club sitting in the relegation zone.

Hasenhuttl left his post at RB Leipzig in May after two successful seasons at the helm, including steering the side to second place behind Bayern Munich in 2016-17.

Having had a break from the game since departing the Bundesliga club, he admitted at his introductory press conference that a move to English football always felt like a "logical step" in his career.

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"I want to put my footsteps in the snow here," Hasenhuttl - who steered Inglostadt to promotion from the second tier before taking over at Leipzig - told the media.

"I think I did it at all the clubs before and often in similar situations to this one at the moment. It's a bit back to the roots for me, last year was maybe easier because I had a fantastic Champions League team, and we were on a very high level tactically.

"Maybe this step isn't the easiest one, but I never wanted easy in my life. I’m always challenging myself, looking forward I'm not afraid of anything."

The new boss watched his team lose 3-1 to Tottenham at Wembley on Wednesday and quickly noticed one area of concern - the defence.

However, a busy period of fixtures - starting with Saturday's trip to Cardiff City, means Hasenhuttl will get little time to work with his players on the training field in the coming weeks.

"The first target is to get out of this relegation zone. The near future has to be about moving as quickly as we can," he said.

"It's tough enough – we know our schedule over Christmas. I'm not frightened about it, but the problem at the moment is that we have a lot of games in the next few days.

"If you know my kind of football, you will know I'm about training sessions, working on habits. If you have the chance to do that, okay. If you don't though, it's not so easy to change something about the team. 

"My goal is to develop them as quickly as possible. We have to pay attention - we have one session tomorrow and it’s about getting stabilised very quickly, mainly in defence.

"As you saw yesterday, it was too easy to score against us. While it was one of the top five teams in Tottenham, I felt it was too easy. You really need to have a good match plan."

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