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Southampton turns to Canadian hockey coach

Updated: 2014-02-26 08:48
By Reuters in London ( China Daily)

Southampton turns to Canadian hockey coach

Canada-born hockey coach Ralph Krueger

Canada-born hockey coach Ralph Krueger, who helped Team Canada win the gold medal at the Sochi Olympic tournament, has been signed by Southampton to support manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Krueger, former head coach of the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers and a longtime coach of the Swiss national team, has been appointed by the Premier League club's owner, Katharina Liebherr, according to British media reports.

Southampton has brought in experts from other sports before, with former chairman Rupert Lowe employing ex-England Rugby World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward nine years ago.

Krueger, who has never worked in soccer but has known the Liebherr family for many years, has been working as a consultant to Canada's Olympic team.

"Katharina is a woman of such strong values, and she has a fresh and interesting perspective to sports," the 54-year-old Krueger was quoted as saying by British media on Monday.

He has been given a role in a restructured management team at Southampton after chairman Nicola Cortese resigned in mid-January after differences with the club's owners.

Southampton is ninth with 39 points from 27 matches after a successful season under Pochettino.

The Argentine was appointed just more than a year ago to replace the fired Nigel Adkins.

"It is a question of continuing to grow what is already there, it is not about rebuilding anything," Krueger said on The Daily Mail website.

"I have met the coaching staff and Mauricio Pochettino and I have spoken to the team. I know exactly what he needs - and I know exactly what he doesn't need.

"He doesn't need someone getting involved in a day-to-day running of the team. He needs space to do his work, so that he can continue to grow the group.

"I get it, I totally get it. I feel the values that drive him."

Krueger, who is also a motivational speaker and author of a best-selling book titled Team Life: Over Losses to Success, has a reputation for team leadership and management.

"I know this will be a difficult situation, but that is what makes it exciting and challenging," said Krueger, who is now a German citizen.

"It is about leadership and management. The sport I come from is irrelevant.

"I have had experience in major league professional sport, and the principles are transferable.

"I will come in at the level of a well-informed fan and, as far as the team is concerned, I will stay in my place.

"Nobody has more information about what is happening with the team than the head coach.

"I know that. I' hae been a head coach. I have been confronted with political situations, people without all the information trying to influence decisions."

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