Ralph Hasenhüttl wanted to break it down for the benefit of his new friend and Jürgen Klopp. The Southampton manager, Klopp offered a few pronunciation pointers. "Hare is the rabbit," the Liverpool manager said. "Huttl means nothing."

This is an open goal for Hasenhüttl and he banged it in with relish. "Jürgen's German is not very good now – maybe his English is better," he said. "I was laughing about his explanation of my name. He knows what rabbits means but Huttl means a small hat. So it's a little hat for the rabbits. "

Ralph Rabbithutch has come to the end of the German Leagues, from Unterhaching and Aalen to Ingolstadt and RB Leipzig – Alpen Kloppen; Klopp from the Alps.

Hasenhüttl was born two months after Klopp in 1967 and the pair undertook her Uefa pro license together in Cologne. Like Klopp Hasenhüttl has built his coaching style on pressing, pace, hard running and what he calls automatism – in other words, drilling good decision-making into his players.

"Jurgen has a very proactive way to play, he set marks in Germany with his kind of football and that really influenced my style," Hasenhuttl said. "I have heard about my nickname but I do not like it so much. I want to be my own character. "

Hasenhuttl spoke in perfect English at his Southampton unveiling on Thursday. "My goal is to get my name known in the Premier League," he said. "I want to put my footsteps in the snow." "If you want a guarantee, buy a washing machine," he added.

What Hone Through What Hasenhüttl's conviction, which he said had been hardened by his previous job – the two seasons at RB Leipzig when he finished second and sixth in the Bundesliga. Red Bulls have thrown money at them to take them from nowhere to the top level.

"The first season [in 2016-17] what extreme, "Hasenhüttl said. "And the away games were really interesting. I think they know that in Leverkusen they were paint our team bus and when we windscreen wipers we could not see anything. But it did not stop us from winning the game. It helped us to get a good core and we got a big strength from it. The second season was easier. "

Ralph Hasenhüttl led his first training session at Southampton on Thursday.



Ralph Hasenhüttl led his first training session at Southampton on Thursday. Photographer: Matt Watson / Southampton FC via Getty Images

For Hasenhüttl the opportunity at Southampton represents, in his own words, a return to his roots. He was never a top player, as at old-school center-forward, he scored goals, especially for Austria Vienna. He would win eight caps for Austria. He told the story of how he wanted to play in the Premier League but he was not good enough, as he discovered during unsuccessful trials at Chelsea and Bolton Wanderers.

"I trained with Chelsea for two weeks under Glenn Hoddle when they were in the relegation zone – it was a long time ago," Hasenhuttl said. "And I trained for Bolton when I was a young player. I was very clear, very soon, that I was missing a lot for that level. I had not so much talent and, for that talent, I did not do so bad. I could score but running what's not my main goal. Maybe that's why, as a coach, I force my players to run a lot. "

Hasenhüttl's managerial story before RB Leipzig what at lower-end clubs that tended to scrap for survival. Aalen and Ingolstadt were in the relegation places when he took over and Southampton fans want that.

"This experience helps a lot, even if it's a little far away now," Hasenhuttl said. "Taking the Southampton job is not the easiest step but I never want to be easy in my life. I am always challenging myself. I am not afraid of anything. "

Hasenhüttl wants to push his new players remorselessly in training. There is, therefore, said to be "mind-blowing for the guys". Tactically he wants to find the perfect formation. "My preferred system is 4-2-2-2 but also 4-3-3 and 3-4-3," he said. "The main goals are to be very proactive and to press very early. If someone says it's too much work in progress, they'll fall very quickly behind us. "

Most immediately, before Saturday's visit to Cardiff, Hasenhüttl needs to stabilize defensively and lift the collective confidence. Man-management and player development, however, are his greatest strengths. There are no guarantees in football but Hasenhüttl intends to give himself and Southampton the best possible opportunity through hard work, attention to detail and tried and trusted strategies.

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Hasenhüttl raises a laugh when asked to reveal his job. "It's about how the Titanic left Southampton," he replied. "I hope I do not hit the first iceberg waiting for me."

The reality is that he feels he has found his ideal port.

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