Ralph Hasenhuttl 'very intense', says Southampton's Matt Targett
Last Updated: 10/12/18 6:45am
Matt Targett has revealed how the "very intense" Ralph Hasenhuttl has already started to shake up Southampton.
Former RB Leipzig boss Hasenhuttl promised his training methods will be "mind-blowing" for the Saints players when he was introduced as Mark Hughes' successor last week.
Hasenhuttl only had two days with the Southampton squad before his opening game on Saturday but the first Austrian to manage in the Premier League raised plenty of eyebrows in making no fewer than six changes for the 1-0 defeat at Cardiff.
"He (Hasenhuttl) is very intense and demands a lot from you," Targett, the solitary member of the Saints defence to survive from the 3-1 defeat to Tottenham on Wednesday, said.
"You can see straight away that he is going to ask a lot from each position.
"When I say intense I mean lots of sprints - much more than we have been doing. Lots of pressing and getting in faces.
"He likes to get involved and will tell you if you are doing it wrong. If you are, then you are out. Simple as that.
"He has given chances to different people who were not getting a look in with Mark Hughes. So it is a clean slate for everyone and if you impress him then you will start."
Southampton have not won in the Premier League since September 1 and their fragile confidence was reflected in a first half in which Cardiff dominated and should have been ahead.
The Saints improved after the break and had two penalty claims turned down by referee Jon Moss.
But the defensive errors that have undermined Southampton's season struck again when Jannik Vestergaard gifted Callum Paterson a 74th-minute winner.
"It has not gone our way, but we have a new manager and new ideas now," Targett added. "He is a coach who likes to get his hands dirty, really full-on.
"Everyone needs to buy into his tactics and we need to stick together as a team.
"We saw little bits here - not enough - and glimpses of what we can do when we press as a team."
Southampton's defeat left them three points from safety in 19th place, with only Fulham below them on goal difference.
Hasenhuttl's tough introduction to English football continues at home to in-form Arsenal next weekend, while fixtures against champions Manchester City and Chelsea are also on the horizon.
"It is definitely not where we want to be," Targett said. "But the manager can put more ideas in our heads and we will have a solid week to get into it.
"There were a lot of details in his meetings. Longer meetings than previously. More detailed, which is good.
"We need to buy into it and get out of the relegation zone, and I am confident we can do that."