SAINTS manager Ralph Hasenhuttl thinks outside noise surrounding Chelsea is not necessarily “affecting them massively” despite their back-to-back defeats over the week.
Thomas Tuchel’s Blues lost heavily 4-1 and 3-1 versus Brentford and Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge, as they head to St Mary’s in the Premier League on Saturday.
It follows weeks of turmoil after Government sanctions on owner and oligarch Roman Abramovich, for his ties to the Russian regime – and Vladimir Putin waging war in Ukraine.
While the sanctions are in place, Chelsea are effectively under a transfer ban, unable to buy or sell players, and they cannot renew contracts for their stars whose deals are set to expire.
Defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen could leave for free this summer. Initially, they were not even able to sell tickets to supporters – but that has since been eased by UK Government.
The club will likely soon be sold by Abramovich, who revealed his intentions to hand over the keys to Stamford Bridge in a club statement following the sanctions.
“You cannot give a general answer for this, some are maybe affected a little bit more, others not really,” Hasenhuttl responded, when asked if this noise could have contributed to a bump in the road for Chelsea this season.
“The most important thing is always how you react as a manager and how you are able to lean the focus in the right direction.
“It is up to you to find the right words and I am sure Thomas does this in a fantastic way, because he has these qualities.”
He continued: “This is the most important thing, because in the end, I don’t think it changes a lot – they go in the morning to the (training sessions), they do their job on the pitch, they want to win games and if it is possible every game.
“They are part of the Champions League still, they are part of the FA Cup, and in a top position in the Premier League, so I have heard of more difficult situations to be honest, that is the reason why I think it doesn’t affect them massively.”