Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has heaped praise on Steve Bruce after seeing his fellow Premier League manager sacked at Newcastle yesterday.
Bruce is the first big change of the new Saudi ownership in Newcastle and had to work in challenging circumstances at St James’ Park – something that Hasenhuttl seemed to be very understanding of when speaking on Thursday.
In his pre-match press conference ahead of Southampton taking on Burnley, Hasenhuttl said:
"“I have never such abuse in my entire managerial career. I would not know how I would react when it is like this. I think he [Bruce] made a lot of games and it is nice that he could make 1000 Premier League games – unbelievable for me. He is a great lad, a great colleague and a great guy and he can be very proud of all he has done in his career.”"
Southampton boss has his own decisions to make this weekend
Whilst some of Steve Bruce’s decisions will have played a part in his eventual sacking, Ralph Hasenhuttl has his own important calls to make ahead of this weekend.
Che Adams is back in contention for a starting place but will have had to impress his manager in training to move back ahead of Nathan Redmond and Armando Broja after their strong combination in attack against Leeds.
Defender Jack Stephens remains the only injured player in the Southampton first-team right now whilst James Ward-Prowse will sit out two more games in his suspension.
Saturday will see another English manager in Sean Dyche arrive on the South Coast to take on Hasenhuttl and his players. Hasenhuttl himself was full of praise for Dyche’s Burnley side after admitting his opinion of the Clarets had changed since his early days in the Premier League.
Southampton have struggled at home against Burnley in the past and will need to make sure that their own game plan is influencing the game before Dyche and his side can take a hold of things – especially after seeing some scrappy games go the way of the visitors in the past.
For Hasenhuttl, this will be another test of his own managerial potential. His pressing style is very different to the way that a Steve Bruce or Sean Dyche sets up a team but each individual game plan must work to ensure that Saints rise up the table and away from danger.