The two south-coast rivals last met during April 2012.

Hasenhuttl focused on Bournemouth ahead of exciting Portsmouth tie

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  • 2019-09-20 02:10:30 4 months ago
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Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl will not prioritise beating rivals Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup over continuing Premier League momentum against Bournemouth.

The Austrian has been left in no doubt how much getting a result against Pompey means to supporters in what will be a first meeting since 2012.

However, Hasenhuttl maintains everyone's focus must be on Friday night's visit of Bournemouth when the Saints will look to build on their 1-0 win at Sheffield United.

"It is hard not to think about (the Portsmouth cup tie) because everywhere you come, the fans are telling you how important it is," Hasenhuttl said.

"They can be sure we know it is an interesting game, but first we have to focus on the Premier League game against Bournemouth.

"What I can say is that I don't think about any rotation to save a player for the Tuesday game, we have enough time between, then enough before the game against Tottenham.

"As always, we try to pick the best possible side for us. Every game is important and we try to win every one."

Hasenhuttl confirmed forward Moussa Djenepo will miss Friday night's match after again being troubled by a previous muscle problem.

The Mali international, a summer signing from Standard Liege, scored to give the Saints a 1-0 win at Bramall Lane last weekend.

Hasenhuttl hopes the 21-year-old will soon be back in action.

"He had the problem that he came very late after playing in Africa, but from the first moment he was here he showed some special qualities which can help our game, absolutely," Hasenhuttl said at a press conference.

"He is a fantastic character, always positive and that is the problem at the moment, he is really down because he wants to help the team.

"He has shown in the few games he has played so far that he is a really good signing and a special player with special qualities. I hope I don't have to miss him too long."

Winger Nathan Redmond is training again following an ankle injury and could come into contention.

Hasenhuttl said: "Nathan could train this week with the team. This is a good message. How far he is and if he really can play tomorrow, I haven't decided so far."

Victory for either side would send them up into third place in the table.

"I expect a tough game from two teams who want to win," Hasenhuttl said.

"We have to be very flexible against this opponent, it could be we have to change the shape a few times, but we know we have players on the pitch who can do this."

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Hasenhuttl focused on Bournemouth ahead of exciting Portsmouth tie

Paul Scholes: 'Paul Pogba would not be a big loss for Manchester United'

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has claimed that Paul Pogba would not be a major loss for the club if they allowed him to leave.

The 26-year-old appeared set for the exit door during the summer after admitting that he would be interested in a move away, while his agent Mino Raiola stoked the flames amid continued speculation linking him with Real Madrid.

United were ultimately able to hang on to their record signing, although uncertainty continues to swirl around his long-term future and Scholes suggested that the club should allow him to leave.

"I think it's quite clear he wants to leave the club. He wanted to move to Real Madrid [in the summer] and for whatever reason it didn't happen," Scholes told talkSPORT.

"If they ask him to stay for a year then we'll see what happens. But I don't think it will be a big loss to United [if he does go].

"At the end of the day his form hasn't been great anyway over the last three or three years he's been there. I'm sure there's more players there who can step in and do just as good a job."

United are understood to be attempting to tie Pogba, who has also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, down to a new contract at Old Trafford, with his current deal expiring in 2021.

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New Sheffield United owner Prince Abdullah aiming for "bigger and better"

Sheffield United owner Prince Abdullah has assured the club's fans he will do all he can to take them to "a bigger and better place".

Prince Abdullah won full control of the Premier League club on Monday when a bitter legal dispute with co-owner Kevin McCabe was settled by a high court judge in his favour.

"I can assure everybody that we will work hard to make the fans proud to make everything better," Prince Abdullah told a press conference at Bramall Lane.

"I am, and my team is, 100 per cent committed to the club. Actions speak louder than words."

"So I hope in five years' time when fans look back on this day, things will be much better and we will be with Chris (Wilder), taking us to a bigger and better place."

Prince Abdullah, full name Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and a grandson of King Abdulaziz, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, insisted he has the credentials to back his claims after his role as president of Saudi football club Al-Hilal.

"It won the club of the century in Asia, it has a huge fan base," he said. "It won more trophies than any other Asian club. It is a big club and has not gone, in the last 40 years, back-to-back years without a trophy.

"I know how to deal with the fans. I know what the fans want. I know how to deal with coaches. I've seen many great coaches work from close.

"I'm connected in the football world, I know the good agents. I know the business of football and I've been in football all my life, it's my passion."

In the High Court on Monday, Mr Justice Fancourt ruled that McCabe must sell his 50 per cent stake in the Blades to Prince Abdullah, who owns the other 50 per cent, for £5million, in line with a 2013 investment and shareholders agreement.

The judge also said Prince Abdullah's UTB firm will have to buy the club's property assets, valued between £35-40m, which include Bramall Lane stadium and the Sheffield United hotel, from McCabe's company Sheffield United Ltd.

Prince Abdullah told the press conference that it would not be a problem to finance the purchase of the assets and that money would be made available to manager Chris Wilder – who he wants to be with the Blades long term –  to strengthen his squad in January.

He also defended the Bin Laden family after it had been revealed in court that members had loaned Prince Abdullah £3million during his time as co-owner at Bramall Lane.

"I really get offended when people say the Bin Laden family is a bad name. Bin Laden is a really good family. Every family may have one bad person," he said.

"But they are a really respectable family. I had not done business with them in the past, but if I can do business with them (again) I'd be very happy to do business with them."

Prince Abdullah insisted he did not hold a grudge against previous co-owner McCabe, despite their legal battle which lasted over 18 months.

Despite already knowing the High Court had ruled in his favour, Prince Abdullah said, he arranged a meeting with McCabe in Paris in a bid to reach an out-of-court settlement.

"I like many things about Kevin. I like his family, I like (sons) Kevin and Scott. I tried to find a better way to end his relationship with the club."

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