Southampton ‘refused time off’ after failing to achieve Ralph Hasenhuttl target

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has refused to give his squad time off over the international break due to their disappointing start to the season.

The Saints are sat in 17th position and are without a win this season, just one point above the relegation zone.

The beginning of this campaign has been the polar opposite to their start of the 2020/21 season where they were top of the Premier League after eight games and joked on Twitter that the season should have finished immediately – poking fun at Donald Trump.

This year, Southampton have drawn four of their games but were handed three disappointing defeats and look as if they may be in a relegation scrap at the end of the campaign.

As a result, manager Hasenhuttl has not allowed his squad to have an extended holiday over the international break if they are not away representing their countries.

According to The Athletic, the former RB Leipzig boss made a deal with his players that if they went unbeaten against Manchester City, Wolves and Chelsea, then he would allow the players not on international duty to have a prolonged rest period.

The team impressively drew 0-0 with City to kick off their tough three-game run before succumbing to a 1-0 defeat at home to Wolves before being handed a 3-1 thumping by Chelsea last weekend.

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Hasenhuttl will allow his squad some time off but not the longer break that they were hoping for, instead, wanting all members of the team to be primed and ready for their clash with Leeds after the break.

Thankfully for Saints fans, their October and November fixtures have been kind to them and they will have a great opportunity to right the wrongs of their first few games, with matches against Norwich, Watford and Burnley on the horizon.

But, for a few of those games, they will be without club captain James Ward-Prowse as he was sent off for a late tackle on Jorginho at the weekend.

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The England midfielder was initially given a yellow card for the foul by referee Martin Atkinson, but he was instructed to visit the pitch side monitor to review his decision.

The Austrian manager spoke of the refereeing decision, he told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It's always a little bit of a problem when we know Mike Dean is VAR because we have not had a good history with him to be honest."

Then on Match of the Day, he added: "When you press high then you sometimes have situations like this when you are a bit late.

"The red card from VAR Mike Dean, it is the third time he gave us a red card while I am here, but OK."

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