Ralph Hasenhüttl admits much of Southampton’s planning for Wednesday night’s trip to Tottenham went out of the window with the news of José Mourinho’s departure as Spurs boss.
Speaking the day after his team’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final defeat to Leicester, Hasenhüttl’s pre-match press conference was dominated by questions surrounding the European Super League and, to a lesser extent, Mourinho’s surprise exit in the week of the Carabao Cup final.
Now Hasenhüttl is expecting to face “something new” in north London, but says his side will be motivated by the 5-2 defeat at St Mary’s back in September that sparked a major upturn in form, which led to Saints topping the Premier League table seven weeks later.
“It’s interesting that just a few hours after our last game no one speaks about it anymore. It shows how quickly things change in football,” Hasenhüttl said.
“It’s definitely a strange moment to concentrate on a new manager three days after their last game, with a final on the weekend and our game on Wednesday, but it is how it is.
“The work our analysts have done on Tottenham is gone now, it’s not that interesting anymore. We have to face something new.
“It will be difficult to prepare for this game because we will maybe see a different side from them and maybe a few new players from our side. We only have a few hours, but we must be prepared.
“It’s important we are emotionally ready for this game, because we have lost against them in the first game. I think this is the motivation for going there and making it better.
“We spoke a little bit about the high line we were playing at the time and we stopped doing it because we were not comfortable with it, and finding our way of defending and playing football after this game was much better.
“This was the reason why we were more competitive. We made a few changes to the team and it worked very well.”