Ralph Hasenhuttl cites Ingolstadt and RB Leipzig examples to explain Leeds United story and eyes Southampton revenge
SOUTHAMPTON boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says Leeds United's intensity upon their Premier League return is no surprise based on his own experiences with RB Leipzig and Ingolstadt.
Austrian boss Hasenhuttl will face Marcelo Bielsa's newly-promoted Whites for the second time this season in this evening's Premier League clash at St Mary's (kick-off 6pm).
Leeds defeated the Saints 3-0 in the reverse fixture at Elland Road in February in which Hasenhuttl felt his side were unfortunate to be on the receiving end of such a scoreline.
United's victory against Southampton via strikes from Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas and Raphinha sent Leeds tenth after 25 games played and Bielsa's side remain in the same position with just two games left, defying their top-flight experience as a newly-promoted side.
But Hasenhuttl believes the first season at a higher tier can actually be a help to teams and their intensity levels based on his own spells in charge of RB Leipzig and FC Ingolstadt.
The Austrian took Ingolstadt up to the German top flight as 2.Bundesliga champions in 2015 and an 11th-placed finish followed upon the club's Bundesliga return.
Hasenhuttl then became manager of newly-promoted top flight side RB Leipzig and steered them to a second-placed finish and then sixth the following year.
Asked how impressed he had been with Leeds keeping up their intensity throughout the season, Hasenhuttl told Hampshire Live: "It is not that surprising, to be honest.
"I know how it feels to be promoted and have a good first season in the big league, I had it with Ingolstadt and I had it with Leipzig.
"The team is always super motivated, the players, it's a completely new experience when they get the chance to finally compete with the big ones.
"That carries you beyond those tired moments, past the tough moments.
"Leeds have had a few games where they have struggled this season but they have shown that, especially against the big sides, they can show very good performances.
"This was surprising, that they could compete like that against the strong sides in the league.
"They haven't lost a lot over the last weeks so they are getting better and better.
"This is a tough games but I think we have the chance to show them that we are better than when we last played them.
"I think that game, 3-0, was a little bit of a too-high result. We were unlucky. We know we can do better."
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Thank you Laura Collins