Alex McCarthy says the arrival of Angus Gunn has only increased his motivation.

The Saints keeper has linked up with the England squad for games against Spain and Switzerland on the back of a good start to the campaign.

McCarthy took over the Saints number one spot from Fraser Forster at the end of 2017 and hasn’t looked back since.

Saints took the step of recruiting Gunn in the summer for £10m to provide the club with another strong keeper, and also more genuine competition for McCarthy.

Rather than put McCarthy out, it is something the 28-year-old has thrived on.

He said: “I think obviously we have a tight school of goalkeepers here and the competition is a positive thing, keeps everyone on their toes and pushing towards the next level. It doesn’t faze me at all and makes me more motivated.

“I try to concentrate on my performances and then the rest takes care of itself.”

Of Gunn he added: “I’ve not seen a lot of him, he was on loan at Norwich last season, and then come here this season, kept a clean sheet in the week so that’s a positive start and we’ll see what happens.”

McCarthy is hoping to impress England boss Gareth Southgate this week and put some pressure on Jordan Pickford.

“Obviously Jordan’s done really well, he had a really good World Cup but I’ve said all along the main thing for me is to concentrate on club football, keeping that number one shirt and then whatever happens after that happens,” reflected McCarthy.

“Growing up you want to represent your country so it’s something I was looking forward to but more importantly I knew I needed to perform well (at Crystal Palace) to get the three points and make it more enjoyable, so thankfully that happened.”

Victory over Palace at least sent McCarthy and his Saints teammates off on their international break with a positive feeling.

“Obviously we dominated the game last week, stepped our foot off the gas and didn’t get a point, we knew it would be tough coming here but knew that with the performances we’ve been putting in, but obviously not getting the results, in recent weeks we knew we could get something here if we maintained that.

“Especially with the international break now it’s a massive boost for everyone going into that with three points.”