MARIO Lemina insists his heart is truly in the Saints fight and only when the club’s Premier League status is secured should players’ futures be discussed.

The Gabon international has sometimes come in for criticism for his performances this season, but on his day has looked like a world beater.

The 24-year-old, who was signed from Juventus for £16m last summer, put in a superb display in the 2-1 win against AFC Bournemouth last Saturday, running the midfield and assisting Dusan Tadic for the opening goal on his 19th league start of the season.

So often, however, Lemina has struggled to make his mark and has made mistakes in crucial moments.

But he is adamant that he is ready to continue to get stuck in as Saints battle to beat the drop in their final three games.

“The club have given me everything to perform and I need to give back with all my heart to win the last three games,” he said.

“When you join a team I don’t think you can expect to try to fight to save yourself.

“But now this is our situation and we have to just keep going and work a lot to save the club.

“For me it is a good pressure because the fans expect a lot from us and we have to give it back and the main thing is to save the club and every one of us knows we have to do that.”

Lemina has started 22 games in all competitions and, despite his ups and downs, has regularly attracted interest from other clubs.

Liverpool have been linked with the midfielder, but he is not interested in discussing his future right now with Saints' Premier League status on the line.

“We don’t talk about ourselves, we talk about the club and we just have to save the club,” he said.

“After everyone can make a decision to stay or leave. This is not my problem, my only problem is to win the last few games and save the team.

“We have to save the club because it deserves to stay in the Premier League.”

The former Lorient, Marseille and Juve midfielder has never been in a relegation scrap before but it’s a challenge he’s relished.

“This is my first time but I feel this moment is a challenge and we have to just play the next few games like a final,” he said. “We just have to win.”

Lemina revealed that, since replacing Mauricio Pellegrino in March, boss Mark Hughes has given Saints a fighting spirit. 

“I like this coach because you can see when you are in the stadium he gives everything, he loves winning and he’s a big fighter," he said. 

“He’s given this mentality to the team and these are very good things.”