Southampton: Lyanco needs time to adapt to English game, says Ralph Hasenhuttl

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl insists Lyanco “still has to learn” about English football following his debut for the club.

The Brazilian centre-half, signed for a reported £6.7million from Torino in the summer, endured a difficult first outing as Saints drew 2-2 at Sheffield United in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night before progressing to round four with a 4-2 win on penalties.

Lyanco received a first-half yellow card for tussling with Blades striker Oli McBurnie before giving the ball away in a mistake that led to the host’s second goal. The 24-year-old was replaced by Jan Bednarek after 74 minutes.

Asked about the defender’s debut, Hasenhuttl said: “We spoke before the game that this was a very good start for him, a very good game for him to be honest.

“We knew it would be tough and physical and emotional and this I think is a good start for him to get a feeling about English football. This is what he has to learn.

“I mean he is a fantastic character, a really good guy. He is learning English now. I think his English is not the best so far, but we have Ori [Oriol Romeu] who helps us with the translation.

“He learns and he is understanding more and more, but it will take time before he understands everything that we want to do.

“He showed sometimes some qualities but still has to learn what we want to do, especially his game with the ball can be a little more calmer but yes, this is the thing we have.”

Blades boss Slavisa Jokanovic said after the match he felt his team acquitted themselves well in defeat, with the performance coming on the back of seven points from their last three matches in the Sky Bet Championship.

However, the Serbian still insists his players are “not at a good enough level” and wants to close the “gap” that he believes exists to the side he wants to see.

“I know what I have in my hands. I say many times, and I repeat, I believe I am coaching a really good group of players, a good team,” said Jokanovic.

“But we can still be better. This is what is the challenge for me and the challenge for my players. We are still in the process. The progress is there, but it is not a good enough level at this moment.

“I believe there exists a gap and we must keep going forward.”

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