Ralph Hasenhuttl frustrated by VAR as Jannik Vestergaard’s red card overturned

·3 min read

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl feels let down by VAR once more after seeing the red card shown to defender Jannik Vestergaard against Leicester overturned on appeal.

The Denmark international was dismissed by referee Robert Jones for what was deemed to have been denying Jamie Vardy a goal-scoring opportunity after only 10 minutes of last week’s Premier League match.

The on-pitch decision was reviewed by VAR referee Jon Moss.

However, an independent regulatory commission subsequently upheld Southampton’s claim for wrongful dismissal, meaning Vestergaard will be clear to face Liverpool on Saturday.

It is not the first time the Saints have come out on the wrong end of such controversy this season, with Jan Bednarek’s red card against Manchester United also eventually rescinded.

Hasenhuttl was left less than impressed that the footage which saw the decision overturned would have been the same as that looked at again on the night.

“It is very difficult to understand and the only reason why it can be like this is if they have not the right people on the right spots for the VAR,” he said.

“Otherwise, he must have seen this was clearly not a goal (scoring) chance. Everybody sees it one day later, (but) it doesn’t help us in the end.

“That is what we have the VAR for. I cannot understand it.

“The second time (this season) that after the game they say: ‘sorry, it was the wrong decision’. This is not possible.”

Hasenhuttl added: “It’s not really funny when you get 80 minutes with one man down. In both cases, it affected our game massively.

“I don’t understand how this is possible. It seems they (VAR) are looking to give red cards, not at exactly what happens.

“Simply it is not a good job they do, to be honest.”

Danny Ings is not going to be fit to face his former club, but Hasenhuttl hopes the striker could feature again before the end of the season as he recovers from a hamstring problem.

“We have Ingsy still not available, still with some problems,” Hasenhuttl said. “Hopefully we find him back next week.

“We have a game against (Crystal) Palace on Tuesday, so maybe we have a look (on Ings) to see if it is possible for there.”

On-loan Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino is not eligible for Saturday’s game, while defender Ryan Bertrand remains sidelined by a calf problem.

Midfielder Oriol Romeu has been able to resume some training on his comeback from ankle surgery.

“Ori can maybe start with the team next week,” Hasenhuttl said. “He has a last scan to go, but it looks okay.”

Bertrand has yet to sign a new contract with Southampton, with his current deal set to expire in the summer.

Asked whether the former Chelsea full-back had potentially played his last game for the club, Hasenhuttl said:  “Hopefully not, but we don’t know it.”

Given the uncertainty over the future of the 31-year-old, Hasenhuttl feels Southampton need to keep their own options open.

“We are still looking at other targets because the offer we have made has not been accepted from his side,” the Saints boss said.

“When this happens, when there is no solution for the future in this position, we will have to look at other options.”

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