Ralph Hasenhuttl retains the backing of the Southampton hierarchy despite some supporters turning on the club’s manager.
Hasenhuttl was on the receiving end of ‘sacked in the morning’ and ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ chants’ during Southampton’s 3-0 defeat at Brentford.
It was an eighth loss in 11 games for Southampton, a run that contains just one win has seen them slide down to 15th and the club yet to mathematically guarantee their Premier League survival with two games remaining.
Fans are placing Ralph Hasenhuttl under increasing scrutiny as manager at Southampton
A 3-0 defeat to Brentford at the weekend was Southampton’s eighth in their last 11 matches
However the declining faith in Hasenhuttl among some in the fanbase is not shared by his bosses who intend to continue supporting the Austrian in any way he needs this summer.
Indeed, Southampton and Hasenhuttl are working on strengthening his squad in the next transfer window with a new goalkeeper, centre-back and reinforcements in attack.
Hasenhuttl is keen to bring in a young stopper to join his current goalkeeping department with Fraser Forster in line for a new deal and Alex McCarthy having already signed one.
Bosses retain belief in the Austrian and are ready to back him in the summer transfer window
Dean Henderson – likely to leave Manchester United on loan or permanently next season – has admirers at St Mary’s while, with his existing senior options, Hasenhuttl could opt for a cheaper and less experienced alternative.
Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, 20, who has spent the season on loan at Portsmouth from Manchester City, has been linked with Southampton.
Southampton are interested in re-signing current loanee Armando Broja but, like his other suitors, they are awaiting clarity on the situation at Chelsea following their ownership change before discovering whether the striker will be available again next season.
Hasenhuttl, appointed in December 2018 and under contract until 2024 after signing a new deal in June 2020, is on course to keep Southampton in the Premier League for the fourth season running.
Southampton’s squad are set to be bolstered by a number of additions in key positions
They have enjoyed some highs during his reign, going top of the Premier League last season and deep into the FA Cup in the last two campaigns, but also suffered some lows including 9-0 defeats against Leicester and Manchester United plus extended dips in form.
There is an acceptance behind the scenes, though, that Hasenhuttl’s attempts to progress the club have been hampered in the past by a lack of funds under former owner Gao Jisheng.
But billionaire-backed investment firm Sport Republic took over the club in January and the upcoming transfer period will be their first summer window in charge.
While they are not planning to splash the cash the arrival of new owners is expected to allow Hasenhuttl to be more proactive in the transfer market than he has been for much of his time in charge at St Mary’s.