Just over a year ago, Ralph Hasenhuttl presided over Southampton’s 9-0 home defeat by Leicester City.
It’s to the club’s credit that he wasn’t sacked on the spot, but ever since that horrific defeat, the Saints have been on an upward trajectory.
Key to their resurgence, aside from Hasenhuttl himself, has been striker, Danny Ings.
He’s enjoyed some of the best form of his career of late, which included him scoring a magnificent overhead kick at Wembley a month ago against Wales.
To say he is Southampton’s talisman is to vastly underrate Ings’ importance to his side, but they’ve been dealt a huge blow at just the wrong time.
At present, the south coast side are sitting pretty in fifth position in the Premier League and just three points from Liverpool at the top of the table, however, Hasenhuttl has confirmed that Ings will be out for a while with a knee injury sustained in the superb win at Aston Villa.
“At the moment it looks like he is out for 4-6 weeks,” he said, reported by talkSPORT.
“He’ll have a small surgery tomorrow morning. It could be worse, but he’ll be out and it’s not good news for us.”
Though one player doesn’t make a team, not being able to call upon Ings’ finishing ability is bound to affect Southampton this side of Christmas.
Perhaps by that point, we’ll have a better idea of just how far Hasenhuttl can take them or whether he himself is destined for bigger things.