Ex-Saints full-back Francis Benali has played down fears that Ralph Hasenhüttl could be poached by a bigger side.
It has been just over 3 months since Hasenhüttl was staring down the barrel of his job as his Southampton side were on the wrong end of the heaviest home defeat in Premier League history as they were swept aside 9-0 by a rampant Leicester City side.
Since then, Southampton’s form has been nothing short of remarkable. From dwelling in the relegation zone, they now find themselves level on points with Arsenal in 13th.
The Saints actually sit 6th in the Premier League form table, taking ten points from a possible eighteen in their last six fixtures. They were knocked out of the FA Cup last night in their 4th round replay away to a Tottenham side they actually outplayed for the majority of the 90 minutes.
The recent upturn in fortunes has led to widespread praise for the man at the helm; Ralph Hasenhüttl, who can consider himself lucky to still be in a job after that night against the Foxes.
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Speaking to Love Sport Breakfast, former Southampton full-back Francis Benali has echoed the positivity surrounding the Austrian manager, but doesn’t see him leaving St Mary’s anytime soon.
“I honestly believe he was backed by the club at a time where many other clubs and owners would have shown their manager the door.”
“I think Ralph has seen the loyalty the board and the owners have given him and honestly believe he wants to repay that to Southampton. I’d be surprised, stranger things have happened so you never know.”
Benali also spoke of his optimism for the remainder of the campaign, something no Saints fan would have had fresh after that 9-0 hammering in October.
“I certainly hope we are going to climb the table, you looked at it no so long ago and you would have snatched any opportunity at survival this season.”
“They obviously didn’t get the result they wanted against Tottenham but performance wise there was a hell of a lot of positives there again and shows how far they’ve come.”
“There’s not much between the teams above them but if you do look over your shoulder and downwards it’s still pretty tight in that sense there. They’ve given themselves a great opportunity to look up instead of down.”