Saints have appointed legendary former player Kelvin Davis as their new first team assistant coach.

The 41-year-old replaces Eric Black, who resigned from the position to focus on trying to rectify a long-term back problem.

It is Davis’ first senior coaching role.

In a statement, Saints said: “Southampton Football Club is pleased to announce that Kelvin Davis has been appointed as First Team Assistant Coach.

"A club legend who played for a decade at Saints, the former goalkeeper replaces Eric Black.

"The 41-year-old was a long-time captain at Saints, making 301 appearances while helping guide the club back to the Premier League.

"Davis had been working as Football Development Executive since his retirement in 2016, providing support to players at all levels, but he now joins Mauricio Pellegrino’s first-team coaching staff.

"Everyone at the club is excited to have Kelvin back within the first team environment where he shared many successful years with the club.

"Davis said: “I'm excited, I'm very proud. For me, it's a natural progression and, obviously, I'm very excited about being on the frontline and being able to help and support the manager, the first-team players and ultimately the club.

“It's a time in the season when I wasn't obviously expecting it to come along, but it has, it's presented itself, and obviously I'm looking to get my teeth into the current situation and try to support and help the first-team and the club as quickly as I can.”

Saints hope that Davis will bring some added character into the dressing room, given his close relationship with the club, his leadership qualities and his knowledge of the first team squad.

He is certainly a man who has the respect of the players given his status at Saints and his long career, not only at St Mary’s but before that with the likes of Ipswich and Sunderland.

Pellegrino’s frontline coaching team contains Carlos Compagnucci and Xavier Tamarit who he was allowed to recruit when he arrived.

Davis fits into the picture alongside goalkeeping Dave Watson and head of sports science Alex Gross.

Davis joined Saints from Sunderland for £2m in 2006.

He had a tough start to life at St Mary’s, and become a target for fans after a few mistakes early on in his Saints career.

However, he turned things around and enjoyed ten years, most spent as the club’s number one, and had a testimonial 18 months ago to mark the end of his playing career before taking up his previous role which provided support to first team players.