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Ralph Hasenhuttl: Southampton Premier League opener loss to Burnley was “absolutely disappointing”

Ralph Hasenhuttl rightly lamented Southampton’s defensive shortcomings at Turf Moor

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was bitterly disappointed in Saints’ performance in their 3-0 loss to Burnley in their Premier League opener Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was not a happy man after seeing his side crumble against Burnley in their opening Premier League match on Saturday.

Saints fell to a 3-0 defeat at Turf Moor, conceding all three goals in the space of 12 minutes, leaving the rain-soaked Hasenhuttl and Southampton’s travelling support bitterly disappointed.

Things didn’t get off to a good start for Saints.

Captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg fell ill on the bus up to Burnley and was unable to start the game. He did make a brief appearance later on in the game as a substitute, but that was too little, too late at that point.

However, Hasenhuttl doesn’t want Hojbjerg’s illness to be used an excuse for Southampton’s second-half capitulation.

“Absolutely disappointing,” Hasenhuttl said of the start of Southampton’s 2019-20 Premier League campaign per the Daily Echo.

“I don’t want to start with the missing of my captain after the journey here to the stadium and at the last minute we have to change things because I think it was not the reason.

“For 60 minutes we were OK and we equalised the game in a way against a team who is not giving us a lot of chances to win balls early because they play quick long and second half one long ball and one bad timing and maybe because we played second half into the wind the ball goes a little long but I don’t know why the centre back’s missed this ball.

“Suddenly you are one down and nothing happens. It’s one down but what happened in the next 12 minutes was not acceptable.

“It was something we must be more focussed on our way and we lost it completely.

“We were OK for 60 minutes and after the first goal we lost it for 12 minutes and the game is gone and you don’t come back then because if you are three down there is no chance.

“It is a very disappointing start for us.”

Southampton’s inability to defend in the crucial moments cost them dearly and Hasenhuttl didn’t seem surprised that Saints were duly punished.

“It wasn’t a surprise because it is the Premier League and if you make mistakes you concede a goal.

“We were not sharp enough in this moment and not really nasty enough to come back in the game and no chance to get a point then.”

He continued: “For us the reaction after the first goal was not good enough.

“The reaction after the second goal I changed a few things and got more offensive but there was no chance.”