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Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl blocks Wi-Fi to stop players from gaming

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Unorthodox to say the least

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed that he blocks the Wi-Fi whenever his team check into a hotel ahead of away matches, so that his players cannot play 'addictive' video games like Fifa and Fortnight.

The former RB Leipzig boss, who implemented the same thing whilst in charge of the Bundesliga club, compared video games to alcohol and drugs in terms of how easily it can be to become addicted to them.

"It's something you get addicted to and that means we have to protect the players," said Hasenhuttl, who took charge of Southampton in December following the departure of Mark Hughes.

"It's something you have to force actively against and I will do this," added the 51-year-old.

"I did it in my last club. We had also problems with players - they were playing until three o'clock in the morning before a game.

"You have to help protect them because it's not a small problem. If you are honest it's the same as alcoholism or getting addicted to drugs.

"To protect them means helping them not to spend so much time there. We block the Wi-Fi in the hotel, for example, in the evening so they can't play any more."

Though Hasenhuttl insists that none of his players have a problem with video games, the Austrian is extremely wary of just how easy it could be for an issue to develop itself with all of the free time his squad have available to them during trips away from home.

"You can be sure that I'm always in contact with my captain or with a few players to speak about them.

"As long as it's not officially for the government an illness, then we have to protect them in our way.

"If it would be an illness then it would be easy for the government to say the companies have to give a block after three hours, for example, that they cannot play this game any more.

"I will be active always in this direction because I have to protect them. Also outside the pitch - and that means for 24 hours I have to look at them."

Southampton travel to fellow Premier League strugglers Brighton on Saturday, looking to bridge the gap between themselves and the bottom three with a vital win.

The Saints currently sit 16th on 30 points, but could drop into the relegation zone with defeat against the Seagulls, should Cardiff and Burnley manage wins in their respective fixtures against Chelsea and Wolves this weekend.

A win however, would see Hasenhuttl's men draw level on points with Brighton, but remain in 16th on goal difference barring a hugely unlikely six-goal victory.

Controllers down then, lads.