Five substitutes in Premier League would be a ‘game changer’: Hasenhuettl

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl welcomed the possibility of the Premier League reintroducing five substitutions per game from next season as teams would be able to better manage player workloads in an “intense” top flight.

Many managers from England’s top clubs have repeated calls to be able to use five substitutes amid a gruelling schedule. The proposal has been shot down by clubs with smaller squads but they are set to vote on the matter again.

“There’s no surprise, we’ve spoken a lot of times about it. For us, I think (five substitutes) will be a game changer, it’s very intense the way we play,” Hasenhuettl told reporters on Thursday (Mar 31) ahead of Saturday’s league trip to Leeds United.

“It helps, definitely. There are some arguments from the small clubs (saying) not to do it because of the sporting difference we have with the biggest clubs but I always see it as an advantage for us.”

Southampton are on a three-game losing streak in the league and host top-four sides Chelsea and Arsenal in the following weeks but Hasenhuettl said he was no longer bothered about how tough the schedule is.

“I have stopped thinking about schedules coming up and how tough they are. In December nobody thought we would win against Tottenham (Hotspur) or West Ham,” the Austrian said.

“It is always possible to win or lose, but more focus should be put on the performances and finding the right balance.”

Leeds are seven points clear of the relegation zone after they arrested a decline and won back-to-back games following the appointment of new manager Jesse Marsch.

“I know Jesse from my time at RB Leipzig. I think his character is very close to the players,” Hasenhuettl said.

“It’s interesting to hear his view on football, it has been interesting to watch his development as a coach as it was not easy for him in Germany.

“Under (Marcelo) Bielsa they had a lot of injury problems. You forget the circumstances why a team that was last season flying is struggling. Now they have a few players coming back, they’re getting better and better.”

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