Southampton academy manager Matt Hale has praised Ralph Hasenhuttl for putting his faith in the club’s youth set-up. Hasenhuttl has certainly had a positive effect since succeeding Mark Hughes as manager of the Saints in December, although the club are still embroiled in a relegation battle, as they currently sit just two points above the relegation zone.
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One area that has earned the Austrian particular praise is his willingness to put his faith in youth, with academy graduates Yan Valery, Callum Slattery, Kayne Ramsay, Tyreke Johnson and Michael Obafemi having all featured for the first-team over recent months. Hale is certainly a fan of Hasenhuttl’s approach and he feels making the pathway between the youth and first teams a smooth one can only benefit the club.
Hale told the club website: “With the manager we have in place now, and the staff he’s surrounded by, he’s been great to work with. “His willingness to trust young players is great for the football club.” Hale also feels the amount of youth players Southampton currently have away on international duty shows that the club are developing their young talent in the right way.”
He added: “This is also the highest number of young players representing their countries that this club has ever seen. Right now, there’s almost 50% of our Under-18s group away on international duty and that goes to prove that we’re doing the right things.”