(Reuters) – Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said Jose Mourinho’s sacking as Tottenham Hotspur makes it much harder for his side to prepare for Wednesday’s Premier League game against the London club.
Mourinho was dismissed on Monday, just two days before their game against Southampton and less than a week before they will appear in the League Cup final.
“It changes everything,” Hasenhuettl told a news conference. “Everything you normally tell your players, what they have to expect, from one day to the next, is not there anymore.
“We don’t have a long time to prepare for the game, and it makes it even more difficult now. It’s even more difficult because at the weekend they have a big final, but we have to handle it and concentrate on us.”
Mourinho, who replaced Mauricio Pochettino in late 2019, paid the price for Spurs’ dismal run of form this season which has left them seventh in the Premier League and at risk of missing out on a top-four spot.
Hasenhuettl said there was no doubts about Mourinho’s standing as a manager but added that Spurs had underachieved under him.
“He is maybe the most successful manager at the moment,” he said. “He has had such a big impact but hadn’t had a very good year with Tottenham, they are below what they try to achieve.
“They had a good start and then … dropped back. These are normal in football. When you’re not successful you’re under pressure as a manager and there’s the moment when the club decides to sack you.”
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)