Hasenhüttl: Questions to answer

By SFC Media time Sat 06 Aug Tottenham Hotspur vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Ralph Hasenhüttl

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhüttl reflected on a disappointing opening day of the Premier League season as Saints fell to a 4-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

Despite captain James Ward-Prowse catapaulting Saints into the lead early on in North London, gaps in defence resulted in a challenging defeat in the capital.

“We had a very good start today,” Hasenhüttl began. “To go in the lead, everything went in our direction and then we defended a little bit deeper in our shape and then conceded two goals from crosses where we don’t have enough pressure on the ball.

“This is the key on the shape, sometimes you’re a little bit passive, you invite them to cross, you have to defend quite well in the box which we didn’t do in this moment.

“The first goals we conceded it was a good comeback from the opponent, it left them very strong and then in the second half we tried to change it a little bit to get a little bit more pressure up front but it wasn’t enough for us.”

Hasenhüttl looked to change the tempo at half-time, with Jack Stephens and Stuart Armstrong coming on in place of Yan Valery and Adam Armstrong respectively, but it didn’t conjure the desired response.

“Not the reaction we wanted from the new team. It’s not about changing the shape, it’s about not conceding the third goal. The own goal in the second half was what killed the game.

“We will definitely have to answer a few questions for ourselves because we can see this is not our final solution, this is not the way we want to go.

“It’s always tough to defend against such teams, last year we conceded two goals and scored three so we have to have a balance of how deep we are sitting. In the end, we have lack of quality in every part of our game. In every team, they show you what you are missing."

Romeo Lavia, Joe Aribo and Gavin Bazunu all made their Premier League debuts, a small consolation to take from a discouraging meet.

“I think a few good things I’ve seen from the guys and a few things they have to learn. Overall, it was important for them to take the first step and see immediately what the Premier League is about."

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