Daily Echo:

Mauricio Pellegrino is hoping Saints can start to ramp up their pre-season preparations when more senior players return to training this week.

The manager is set to welcome back five first team squad members following a week’s training camp in Austria which ended with Saturday’s goalless friendly draw with Swiss Super Leaguers St Gallen.

England Under-21 quartet James Ward-Prowse, Nathan Redmond, Jack Stephens and Matt Targett will report back this week, along with right back Cedric Soares.

Pellegrino is fully aware time is ticking ahead of Premier League opener with Swansea City at St Mary’s in 26 days time.

“Every week for us is crucial, because we don’t have too much time,” said the Argentine. “We will play another four games, which is not too much, but we have to try to do our best every single day.

“We are expecting the other players that will arrive (this week) and hopefully it will be better for us.”

Saints’ second friendly takes them to Championship club Brentford next Saturday, before a week’s training in France ends with a friendly against St Etienne on July 29.

Saints then have two home friendlies - against FC Augsburg and Sevilla on August 2 and 5 respectively - before the curtain is lifted on the new league campaign.

Saints skipper Steven Davis hailed a “positive” week under Pellegrino in Austria.

“It’s been a good week and it’s obviously early days in terms of the manager getting his ideas across to the players,” Davis said.

“It was nice to get 45 minutes under our belts (against St Gallen). It wasn’t the best of games but it’s good to get that fitness.”

“It was a really good set up where we were in Austria with nice facilities.

“It was a good chance for us to get some work done on the training pitch and we’re trying to implement the manager’s ideas in the games.

“We saw some of the things he’s looking for but there’s a lot to work on and improve on.”