Southampton have ‘decided’ to part ways with manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, but the Austrian could take charge of the Saints’ match against Liverpool next week.
The Saints were beaten 4-1 by Newcastle at St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday, leaving them 18th in the Premier League.
The south coast club had a solid summer transfer window, bringing in the likes of Romeo Lavia, Joe Aribo and Armel Bella-Kotchap.
Despite a draw against league leaders Arsenal two weeks ago, Hasenhuttl is under a severe amount of pressure.
The Austrian manager joined Southampton in December 2018, which makes him the fourth-longest serving manager in the Premier League behind Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Frank.
After the loss against Newcastle, Hasenhuttl was asked if he thought he had managed his final Saints match.
He said: “Today? You know I have taken a lot of decisions since I am here. The good thing is, this one I don’t have to take.”
“No, at the moment,” he candidly replied to a reporter’s query about whether or not he could see a way out of the difficulties hampering his team.
“Because I cannot say that we don’t try a lot to change and to play football. I think we do it well, and we cannot say that the effort was not there. Until the last minute we tried and we were putting a lot of effort on the pitch.
“Everybody cannot say that the team is not fighting for it. But you know, we are not taking the reward for the effort we are putting on the pitch.”
Goals from Miguel Almiron (aka the Paraguayan Messi), Chris Wood, Joe Willock and Bruno Guimaraes handed Newcastle all three points, but it was not the Magpies’ most convincing performance.
“They have shown why they are where they are and we have shown why we are where we are. This is the difference,” added Hasenhuttl.
“The XG (expected goals) were 1.7 to 1.2 for us – but same story. You can call it luck, you can call it quality, you can call it whatever you want.
“We didn’t score the goals and then they show how they do.”
Southampton defender Romain Perraud said after the game that it is “too easy” to score goals against his team.
“I think the difference between us and Newcastle was being clinical in front of goal,” Perraud said.
“When you don’t score and concede it is difficult. Sometimes it is too easy to score against us.”
It doesn’t get much easier for Southampton, who face Liverpool next weekend.
They host Sheffield Wednesday in the Carabao Cup before that, however.
It is unclear whether or not Hasenhuttl will be in charge for the game at Anfield, with The Athletic reporting that Southampton have decided to sack him.
There were reports earlier this season claiming that Hasenhuttl was on the brink of being sacked, but with the World Cup break two games away, you have to fear for his future at St Mary’s.
The report states that the club were initially looking to hold off until the World Cup break, but they may act sooner after another poor performance and result.
Southampton have ‘agreed to sack’ the Austrian during the break or before their match against Liverpool.
So, it looks like Hasenhuttl’s race is run, but when it concludes is unclear.
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