Southampton boss Hasenhuttl struggling over 'ridiculous' Russian invasion of Ukraine as children 'needlessly' die

RALPH HASENHUTTL revealed Southampton ace Lyanco's personal hell as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The defender's sister Lyarah Vojnovic Barberan had been stuck in war-torn Kyiv along with husband Maycon, the Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder, and their two children.

They have now returned to Brazil, but it has been a deeply traumatic few days for the family – as well as for Lyanco worrying about them back in England.

Hasenhuttl, 54, spoke of the toll Vladimir Putin’s horrifying actions have had on the Brazilian defender and the rest of his squad.

The Austrian, who looked visibly shaken by the events of the last week, said: “There is nobody (in the squad) who is not talking about it because it affects us all. 

“It’s a human catastrophe. 

“Every team has players that are affected. We have Lyanco. His sister was in Ukraine. She made it back to Brazil.

“But you can see what it does with players, and with everybody. 

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“I have been really struggling in the last week to concentrate on my job. To concentrate on ridiculous football at the moment.

“The only good thing is that you have two or three hours during the game when you’re not thinking about it. 

“The rest of the day is affected by worrying about children, women, people dying in a needless war.”

Hasenhuttl has a game tomorrow night to take his mind off the frightening possibility of World War III when Southampton host West Ham in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

I have been struggling to concentrate on my job – to concentrate on ridiculous football

Some Saints fans had been urging the club to wear their away kit of yellow and blue – the same colours of the Ukrainian flag – in solidarity with the people of the oppressed Eastern European nation.

The club had already agreed to wear their usual home colours on Wednesday night but will wear the blue-and-yellow strip at Aston Villa on Saturday.

That was always going to be the plan before the events of this week but it now has added significance.

And Southampton hope to sort some blue-and-yellow scarves for fans to wear at Villa Park to show their support.

On getting the players up for the game against West Ham, Hasenhuttl added: “It’s really tough at the moment to find the right mindset for what we’re doing. 

“But in the end, we all have to function, and that’s what we’re doing.”

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