Hasenhüttl defends Saints after claims they are 'going backwards'


Alex Mott

Article image: Hasenhüttl defends Saints after claims they are 'going backwards'

Ralph Hasenhüttl has come out fighting after his Southampton went down to their second-straight defeat and slipped back into the Premier League relegations places.

Sebastien Haller scored the only goal as West Ham beat the Saints 1-0 at St Mary’s, which put the south coast club in 18th place on goal difference.

But Hasenhüttl has refuted claims that his side are “going backwards” and insisted that he saw positives signs in defeat.

And when asked whether Saints have regressed, the Austrian tactician responded: “I don’t think so.

“It was a very difficult game because we knew this opponent would play a different style and made it difficult to win balls early because they played long balls.

“If they played short, we were sharp, winning balls and playing forward.

“But we didn’t get a lot of these moments. When we got one, we had a good chance to score.

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“We had to build it up some more, come behind the lines and try to move the opponent but, in the first half, the speed of the ball wasn’t quick enough.

“The second half was better; we played with a little bit more speed and this was much better.

“In the end, the goal was not there, so we lost a very important game.”