Southampton sack struggling Hasenhuttl following Newcastle rout

Getty Images

Southampton have sacked manager Ralph Hasenhuttl in the wake of Sunday's 4-1 defeat to Newcastle United at St Mary's.

Pressure had been building on the Austrian prior to the thrashing, which left them mired in the Premier League's relegation zone with just 12 points from 14 games this season.

Two of the Saints' three league wins this campaign came in August, and they have suffered six losses in their last nine outings in the competition.

Southampton, who stood by Hasenhuttl in previous seasons despite humbling 9-0 defeats to Leicester City and Manchester United, have now decided to act, dismissing the 55-year-old on Monday.

A statement on the club's website read: "Southampton Football Club can confirm it has parted company with men's first-team manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

"First Team assistant coach Richard Kitzbichler has also today left the club.

"Hasenhuttl, who was appointed in December 2018, departs having made a significant contribution to the club, overseeing some memorable results and also playing a key role in the development of our club infrastructure, identity and playing squad.

"However, we now believe it is an appropriate time to make a change.

"Everyone involved with the club would like to express their sincere thanks to Ralph for all of his efforts, as well as the unwavering commitment he has shown throughout his time as manager."

The club said coach Ruben Selles will take charge of Wednesday's EFL Cup fixture against Sheffield Wednesday, with a permanent successor to be announced in due course.

Former RB Leipzig coach Hasenhuttl replaced Mark Hughes at St Mary's in December 2018, becoming the first Austrian to manage in the Premier League in the process.

Southampton finished 16th in his first half-season in charge, before climbing to 11th in the 2019-20 campaign. However, they failed to improve from there, finishing 15th in each of the last two seasons.

Saints have been hamstrung by a dire defensive record in recent months, keeping one clean sheet across their last 13 home Premier League games, conceding 26 goals during that run.