Ralph Hasenhuttl appointment like Mauricio Pochettino's, says Francis Benali

'Many people knew little about [Pochettino] and we saw the success he was able to bring'

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Francis Benali says Southampton, in appointing Ralph Hasenhuttl, are moving away from the 'tried and tested route'

Southampton hiring Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager reminds club legend Francis Benali of when Mauricio Pochettino was appointed.

Sky Sports News understands Hasenhuttl has agreed terms on a two-and-a-half-year deal until the summer of 2021 to take over from Mark Hughes.

Hughes was sacked following last weekend's 2-2 draw against Manchester United and Benali feels the appointment could be "interesting".

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Jurgen Klopp has broken down the pronunciation of Ralph Hasenhuttl's name

Speaking to Sky Sports News, the former Southampton defender said: "It's an interesting one, it is going against that tried and tested route the club took with Mark Hughes.

"I am casting my mind to when [Mauricio] Pochettino came in, many people knew little about him and we saw the success he was able to bring and what he has gone on to become as a manager as well.

"It is interesting he has had success with Leipzig in the Bundesliga as well and it's an interesting appointment.

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Danny Mills believes Mark Hughes was 'fighting a losing battle' and Southampton's problems go deeper than the manager

"He's got something, he has a squad to work with I think, there is a lot of talent and ability in there and it's about getting the best from them.

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"In the timing of it as well, with a lot of games coming up in January and December, it is an opportunity to assess the squad ahead of the window as well."

Southampton are in the relegation zone on nine points after 14 games and are still without a home win this season.

They face an away trip against Tottenham and their old boss, Pochettino, at Wembley on Wednesday.

However, despite their poor run of form, Benali believes the squad are talented enough to turn their fortunes around.

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Mauricio Pochettino admits he is sad to see former club Southampton struggling near the bottom of the Premier League

"I believe the squad is good enough to stay up regardless, whether or not if Mark Hughes was still in charge, but with a new man coming in, it will lift the side," he said.

"We have seen it with [Claudio] Ranieri already at Fulham there is lots to work with and I have no doubt whatsoever Southampton will stay in the Premier League."

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