19-year-old sent off within 90 seconds of full debut shown support by Southampton

Alex Jankewitz suffered abused on social media as a result.

Southampton's Alex Jankewitz leaves the game after being shown a red card.
Southampton's Alex Jankewitz leaves the game after being shown a red card.
Image: PA

SOUTHAMPTON MANAGER Ralph Hasenhuttl insists that Alex Jankewitz has been given support and that it is the club’s goal to protect players.

The 19-year-old was sent off inside 90 seconds of his first start on Tuesday, with Saints going on to a record-tying 9-0 defeat at Manchester United.

Jankewitz then became the latest in a string of players to be subject to abuse on social media, with monkey emojis and racist terms directed at him.

“The club supports him in every way we can,” Hasenhuttl said.

“The government does the same, I think. That is our goal to make these things not happen in the future and to protect these players.

“None of us are free from mistakes, not the player, not the referee, not the manager. Nobody. And blaming somebody is a responsibility and I think also for the social media platforms to stop this because it cannot happen.”

The club issued a statement on Thursday, saying it had passed on all the abusive messages to Hampshire Police.

Jan Bednarek also received a red card for a foul on United’s Antony Martial, with referee Mike Dean sticking with his initial on-field decision to dismiss the centre-back after being advised to check the pitchside monitor.

However, an FA independent inquiry on Thursday upheld a claim of wrongful dismissal against the defender, who will now be available for Saints’ trip to Newcastle on Saturday.

“I knew that Jan was not guilty for having made a foul because I seen the scene after the game so it was the only possible decision for me. Every other decision I wouldn’t understand to be honest,” the Southampton boss said.

“It’s a pity that this decision was not made during the game. Maybe with the result then the drama would not be like it has to be. I only think, I don’t understand when the player makes a foul and it was not a foul and the player who is fouled, both say it was no foul why the (referee) then decides to give a red card.

“I don’t want to speak too much about the decisions that have been taken in this game, I think we have seen a lot of discussion around this game, or around our last two games to be honest.

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“I think it’s enough now, it’s enough for how we have been punished for everything we did, we must concentrate a little bit more on what we have tried on the pitch also and concentrate on doing it better in the future.”

Hasenhuttl also paid tribute to a number of Southampton fans, who he thanked for sending in positive messages to the club, saying they had helped lift him and the squad following their heavy defeat.

“The support that I have seen so far from outside, I have never seen something (like this) in my managerial career and , so no, don’t worry I don’t want to resign my contract after this game.

“Although it’s a tough situation, I enjoy my job even more here and I know I’m in the right club and thank you for all this.”

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