Ronald Koeman says the club have not set him a target for a league position this season.
Saints matched their Premier League best when they came home in eighth last term.
But Koeman says there are no specifics in terms of where they must finish this time round.
“No, it’s not about a place in the league,” he said.
“I think you reach your target if you work every day on the system, on the players, and the players are professionals.
“We will train hard, we will train systems, we will train football exercises, and that makes our development for this season, and if that will be eighth place, seventh, tenth, it’s not only the place, it’s what we did and how we do that and the way of playing.
“My feeling, my opinion about football, if I can bring that in that’s very important.”