HAMPSHIRE Premier League strugglers QK Southampton have appointed caretaker manager Jack Payne as permanent first-team boss following the resignation of Nigel Green.

Payne won both of his games in interim charge – albeit the second being on penalties against Durley in the Hampshire Intermediate Cup.

However, chairman Roy Kingdon is bullish about the remainder of the season as QK look to make up lost ground after banking just four points from their opening 13 league games.

He said: “We’ve given Jack the job as he did exactly what we asked him to do in both his games in charge – and that was to shut the back door and start to defend properly.

“Our defence has had more holes than Swiss cheese this season and it had to stop.

''Jack has shored up the defence and we’ve kept two clean sheets.

“He's brought in experienced keeper Dease Kerrison and the two centre-backs look a good pairing.

“We have a mountain to climb, but I am confident we'll start to pick up points.”

“We’ve got a massive away game on Saturday in the league against Colden Common and we're confident our fightback will start there.''