SAINTS boss Ralph Hasenhuttl opened up on how he almost previously lost his job at German outfit Aalen, after contracting hantavirus in 2012.

The Austrian manager, who is preparing his troops to take on Wolves in the Premier League at Molineux tomorrow (8pm), was left in hospital for more than two weeks – as well as spending time in intensive care with the disease.

Hasenhuttl had just taken Aalen to Bundesliga 2 for the first time in the club’s history before being taken ill by the virus – which he admitted left him “without power, without energy”.

Reflecting on that time eight years on – the manager said: “I know there are people dying from this virus.

“It’s what I tried to push away because I felt young, felt healthy and strong. I thought, ‘why should I die from such a virus?’

“But it was definitely serious. I was more than two weeks in hospital and in intensive care.

“I had big pain. It was not nice. I don’t want to have this again. I know how it feels.

“The crazy thing was that we didn’t know what it was in the beginning. It was especially in the region when I was managing at that time.

“It was happening (there) a little bit more often that people get it there. That was the reason we checked it and then knew that I had this virus.”

He added: “You have to wait until your body creates antibodies and then hope to survive.

“It was definitely serious. I nearly lost my job at that time because I was very long out.

“I was just promoted with a third league team (Aalen) to the second league. I didn’t know when I could step back in my job and it nearly cost my job.

“But then I came back just before the season and it was a successful one.

“But I was without power, without energy. It was not easy.

“I survived and it’s a good thing.”

Hasenhuttl admitted he thought more often about that period, while now living through the global pandemic of coronavirus.

Asked whether dealing with hantavirus had given him more empathy with what people are going through with COVID-19, the 53-year-old replied: “It’s human that you forget (the pain, what you went through) and that’s good, I think.

“If you didn’t, I think life would not be very nice.

“The longer goes on, the less you think about it. But especially in the moment now when you are around this pandemic, you are thinking more often about this time.

“You don’t want to have any virus in you and it’s something you try to avoid.”