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Southampton have finally opted to sack manager Ralph Hasenhuttl after their 4-1 defeat at home to Newcastle, despite the Austrian previously surviving two 9-0 hammerings.
The Saints hierarchy have called time on his near-four-year reign with the club 18th in the Premier League table on 12 points after 14 games of the 2022/23 season. He is the fifth Premier League manager to lose his job this campaign, after Scott Parker, Thomas Tuchel, Bruno Lage and Steven Gerrard.
Since taking charge in December 2018, Hasenhuttl's side have been on the receiving end of a 9-0 loss twice. He was spared on both occasions, the first when Leicester demolished them at St Mary's in October 2019 and the second against Manchester United at Old Trafford in February 2021. The results were the joint-heaviest defeats in Premier League history.
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However, Southampton are now under different ownership following the takeover by Serbian media tycoon Dragan Solak at the start of this year, and they have made the decision to part ways with the 55-year-old.
First team assistant coach Richard Kitzbichler has also gone, while Southampton confirmed: "First team lead coach Ruben Selles will take charge of the side on an interim basis for our game on Wednesday night. The club will be announcing a permanent replacement in due course."
Hasenhuttl took over from Mark Hughes on the south coast with the club languishing in the relegation zone. He instantly connected with the fans who gave him a warm welcome in his first game, a 1-0 loss away at Cardiff.
In his second match in charge, the Saints ended Arsenal's 22-game unbeaten run with a 3-2 home victory. They went on to secure their survival that season with two games to spare.
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The next campaign started poorly with the Leicester game hanging over Hasenhuttl's head, but he turned things around either side of the Covid-19-enforced break, finishing 11th with a tally of 52 points, the club's best since the 2015/16 season when they finished sixth.
Hasenhuttl was also named Manager of the Month for July 2020 and earned himself a new four-year deal. His side's form continued into 2020/21, briefly topping the table for the first time in 32 years. However, a decline, including the second 9-0, led to a 15th-placed finish.
A mixed bag last term saw the Saints finish 15th again, ending the season with nine defeats in their final 12 games. It hasn't been much better so far this season either.
An opening day 4-1 defeat away to Tottenham was followed by a draw at home to Leeds and a win at Leicester, before United beat them 1-0 at St Mary's. A 2-1 win against Chelsea was a big result for Hasenhuttl, before four losses in a row.
Back-to-back 1-0 losses to Wolves and Aston Villa piled on the pressure while a 2-1 loss to Everton was followed by a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City.
Despite beating Bournemouth in between draws with West Ham and Arsenal, Hasenhuttl has been sacked with just under two years left on his contract after losing to Crystal Palace and Newcastle.
The Saints have two games left before the break for the World Cup. Sheffield Wednesday visit St Mary's on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup third round, before Southampton go to Liverpool on Saturday in the Premier League.
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