RALPH HASENHUTTL reveals the personal hell Southampton defender Lyanco has endured since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Lyarah’s sister Lyanco was stranded in war-torn Kyiv with Shakhtar Donetsk’s midfielder husband Maycon and their two children.
They have now returned to their hometown of Maycon, Brazil, after Shakhtar attempted to evacuate 13 members of their team from the conflict zone.
But it has been a deeply traumatizing couple of days for the family, as well as for the 25-year-old Brazilian centre-back, Lyanco, worried about their return to England.
Saints boss Hasenhuttl said: “He’s not good. In three days, definitely not.
“Everybody tried to help him. You know your sister is there and, at first, there’s no chance to get out. Now she made it.
“This is a reality of millions of people there. There are probably millions of people in a relationship with someone in this country and this is why it affects nearly everyone. “
Hasenhuttl, who looked shaken during yesterday’s pre-match press conference, said the entire Southampton team has been affected by the appalling events taking place in Ukraine.
And that has made their day job almost “ridiculous” as they prepare for tonight’s trip to West Ham in the FA Cup fifth round.
The Austrian player said: “I’ve really struggled for the past week to focus on my work, focus on this ridiculous football at the moment.
“The only good thing is that you have two or three hours in 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.”
Some Saints fans have called on the club to wear the yellow and blue away kit tonight in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, who share the same colors of the country’s flag.
Southampton have agreed to wear their home kit against the Hammers – but they will wear the yellow and blue home kit at Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.
That was planned ahead of last week’s events but now has more significance.
While the club also hopes to provide fans with blue and yellow scarves to wear at Villa Park to show their support.
We have a big challenge of getting two hours a day so you can forget what’s going on. This is difficult because it is everywhere and affects everyone.
As for motivating his players tonight ahead of global events, Hasenhuttl admitted: “It’s hard at the moment to find the right mindset for what we’re doing.
“But in the end, we all have to be active and that’s what we’re doing.”
Hasenhuttl led Southampton to the semi-finals of the FA Cup last year, where they lost to eventual champions Leicester.
It goes without saying that he is desperate to win a trophy for his club – but right now the biggest challenge is simply getting the players’ minds out of the fight.
He added: “Right now, we have a big challenge of getting two hours a day so you can just forget what’s happening.
“This is very difficult to do because it is everywhere and it affects everyone.”
SOUTHAMPTON (maybe): Caballero, Walker-Peters, Stephens, Salisu, Perraud, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Diallo, Redmond, Adams, Broja.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/17813953/lyanco-southampton-ukraine-russia-hell-shakhtar-maycon/ Southampton ace Lyanco of hell Ukraine as her sister, Shakhtar star husband Maycon and kids finally escaped the Russian invasion