Hasenhüttl’s sacking had an air of inevitability as he ran out of answers | Ben Fisher

Southampton stuck by their manager for almost four years and through two 9-0 defeats but even he had grown wearyAs Ralph Hasenhüttl assumed his position in the Southampton technical area on Sunday for what would prove to be the last time, the hood of his club-branded puffer jacket sheltered him from the rain but was powerless to preserve his position. He survived two 9-0 defeats in his almost four-year long tenure, plugged on despite the austerity of the previous Chinese ownership and the sales of his best players, as well as retaining the club’s Premier League status while developing young talents on the job. This time, though, he admitted to no longer having the answers. Could he see a way out? “Er, no,” he said with the demeanour of a man who knew his fate.There have been highs – Hasenhüttl was reduced to tears after beating Liverpool last year and his team outplayed Chelsea en route to victory as recently as August – but a nagging chain of lows meant there was an air of inevitability about the Austrian’s sacking. He deserved a more dignified send-off and, originally, the club had hoped to review his position during the World Cup break, only for a run of one win in nine matches to hasten the desire for change.

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