Southampton coach Hasenhuettl is lively and aggressive, says Klopp

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By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Who could have thought of a better witness than Juergen Klopp explaining the values of Austrian Ralph Hasenhuettl? The German coach of Premier League rival FC Liverpool obviously enjoyed talking about the former RB Leipzig coach, who is one of the most promising German-speaking coaches around.

51-year-old Hasenhuettl, who was said to be eyed by Bayern Munich and other European clubs, this Wednesday signed a two and half year contract with the Premier League bottom team FC Southampton until 2021. The former Austrian international (8 caps/3 goals) will be in charge of the "Saints" training from this Thursday on.

Klopp praised an English football reporter for pronouncing the German name nearly correctly but still had to explain the meaning of the name of the former striker. "Hase is a rabbit - huettl means nothing," Klopp commented with a smile on his face.

Both never met in the German national league because Klopp left Borussia Dortmund in 2015 when Hasenhuettl managed to promote the second division side of FC Ingolstadt to the Bundesliga for the 2015/2016 season before joining RB Leipzig in 2016.

"He is a tall guy, a good guy. His football is lively and aggressive," Klopp commented adding he regards the deal a "win-win situation."

Despite their first duel still lying ahead the former Austrian international says no other coach has influenced him as much as Klopp. "His style to play football has influenced me strongly," Hasenhuettl said adding he has always been a fan of the Premier League.

Hasenhuettl's team always played an aggressively forwarding football and reminded fans of Klopp's football approach. Naturally, he was given the nickname "Alps-Klopp."

"I am the type of coach who can't accept things not working out well, I am convinced there must be a solution," he emphasized when talking about his attitude.

The Austrian has been out of work since leaving Leipzig in May, ending a two-year spell at the club. He led Leipzig to a second-place finish in the Bundesliga in his first season in charge, after taking over following their promotion from the second tier.

He guided Leipzig to sixth in the German top-flight last season but left after failing to agree on a contract extension. He will officially take over on Thursday with first-team assistant coach Kelvin Davis taking charge for Wednesday's game against Tottenham at Wembley. Hasenhuettl is taking over for Saturday's away game against Cardiff City.

"Ralph's enthusiasm for football was contagious in our discussions; he very quickly aligned himself with the values and the vision of the club. His hunger to take on a new and challenging job in the Premier League was evident," Southampton's chairman Ralph Krueger commented.

"The urgency to find a path back to our potential and to the result that we expect cannot be underestimated. For that reason, we are extremely pleased that Ralph Hasenhuttl has agreed to become our new manager and do all he can to help guide us back on that path," the former German ice hockey international and former Edmonton Oilers coach said.

Southampton believes that Hasenhuettl is the right man for them after having to sack his three predecessors, Claude Puel, Mauricio Pellegrino and Mark Hughes.

Hasenhuettl is said to embody passion, structure, communication skills, work ethic and appetite for growth. Having finalized the deal, he said a dream is coming true. Enditem

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