MATT Le Tissier is backing Danny Ings to establish himself as a Saints cult hero.

Saints legend Le Tissier saw the former Liverpool striker scored his third goal in four games in the 2-2 draw against Brighton on Monday night.

“I think he’s been excellent, I really do,” said Le Tissier. “He looks a level above what was at the club before in terms of sharpness and the way he sees the game.

“I’ve been really impressed with the way he’s gone about his business. His attitude is bang on. He strikes me as one of those players who, even if he’s 70 or 80 per cent fit, will just tell the manager ‘I’m alright, get me on there, I can still do something.

“Sometimes you can have a lack of those characters in your squad so it’s good to have him there as one of those.

“He obviously spent a lot of time out injured so he’s going to be keen to play as much as possible.”

It is the sort of attitude that has already endeared Ings to the Saints faithful, for whom the ‘he’s one of our own’ refrain could not be more appropriate.

Le Tissier agrees that he could well become another Saints cult hero.

“I think he could be,” continues Le Tissier. “He’s started really well and if he continues that… When we’ve had players in the past who’ve performed to a high level and haven’t played at a big club before they’ve only got to have one good season and all of a sudden here come the vultures.

“But he’s had the big move already and dropped down again so it might be a bit easier to keep hold of him.

“I’m hoping that’s the way it turns out.”

Le Tissier agrees with his pal Paul Merson’s likening of Ings to Teddy Sheringham but also sees something of Rickie Lambert, Saints last genuine cult hero, in the club’s new number nine.

“I can understand what Merse is saying. I think he’s got a very good football brain. He hasn’t got blistering pace but he sees a pass very well, he sees runs very well and he runs into space and gets himself in good positions.

“When I saw him play for Burnley a few years ago I actually compared him to Rickie. They’re very different in terms of physical stature and Rickie was probably better in the air and at set pieces but they can see a pass and drop off people and play that role, like the teddy Sheringham role, so there are some similarities.”