Why Sheffield Wednesday head coach Danny Röhl's experiences at Southampton provide the perfect inspiration for his new mission in England

DANNY Röhl may be stepping out on his own as a 'number one' for the first time at Sheffield Wednesday, but in terms of the predicament which the Owls find themselves in, he has been here before to an extent.

In late 2018, the German headed over from the continent to Southampton, who found themselves in a hole at the bottom end of the Premier League in the opening half of the 2018-19 campaign.

Röhl came in to assist Ralph Hasenhüttl after the Austrian was appointed as Saints boss that December.

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The South Coast side were winless in 11 top-flight fixtures and found themselves in the drop zone ahead of the duo starting work.

New Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Röhl at Hillsborough. Picture: Steve EllisNew Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Röhl at Hillsborough. Picture: Steve Ellis
New Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Röhl at Hillsborough. Picture: Steve Ellis

Saints, who claimed a famous win in Hasenhüttl's second match in charge - and first at St Mary's - against Arsenal, ended the season in 16th place, five points above the team occupying the final relegation position and relatively comfortable.

Southampton's accomplishments provide some perspective and hope for Wednesdayites following the appointment of Röhl, 34, who has become the youngest coach in England’s top four divisions.

The Owls - who are experiencing their worst ever start to a league season - prop up the Championship table with just three points from their opening 11 matches.

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Taking goal difference into account, they are effectively eight points adrift of safety ahead of Röhl's first outing in charge at Watford on Saturday.

Röhl's experiences and positivity is welcome. At the minute, Wednesday are entitled to grasp hold of anything.

The former Bayern Munich and Germany assistant coach meets the Owls players for the first time in training at Middlewood today.

Röhl, who watched Wednesday's under-21s in action against Steel City rivals Sheffield United on Friday evening at Hillsborough, said: "This was a little bit similar to Southampton because we travelled in from Germany overnight and watched a match and got the feeling and then we had two days to prepare.

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"The first match was not very well because it was Cardiff away and it was a difficult one. But then we had one week to prepare and it was a booster as we won against Arsenal.

"This is good because with this experience, I know what you can do in one week and it's a similar situation.

"Arsenal were unbeaten in 15 matches at this moment and we beat them in Southampton. Then you are immediately convinced and everyone is convinced about this type of football.

"Wins are helpful for development and improvement and it's the reason why we had to start immediately - to take points."

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Röhl fell in love with English football by the Solent. He is hoping that passion will be rekindled in the Steel City and should he emulate his initial experiences on the south coast, a vast fanbase will be heavily in his debt.

On his stand-our experiences at Saints, he continued: "I remember the first win against Arsenal and the second (memorable) one was against Tottenham. I loved the fans too and it was special and a good relationship and we were successful in this time.

"Southampton was really the best time of my life and now I want to create a new ‘best time’ at Wednesday.

"I love English football and the people here. It is special and different to Germany and the reason I said yes and why I said if there was a chance, I'd go (back) to England. I hope I will take the chance."