In a season where Saints heroes have been rather thin on the ground one man has been quietly rebuilding his career.

Nathan Redmond has gone through difficult times at Saints but is slowly emerging on the other side as the player the club always believed he could be.

Those struggles now look like they might just have been the making of Redmond.

Few, including most notably Redmond, will forget the tide turning against him as Saints fans roundly booed him.

It was hardly the kind of reaction a player desperately searching for form and confidence needed to give him a shot in the arm. There are plenty of players who have been sunk by less.

Certainly it felt as if Redmond’s time at Saints might be ebbing away. After all, there aren’t many Saints players who have been so vocally criticised by fans and come back from it. Of recent generations only Kelvin Davis springs to mind.

While Redmond has a very long way to go to reach Davis’ legendary status, he is at least treading a similar path.

Like Davis, his redemption has been borne of a mental toughness and maturity.

After taking all that flak he went away and took a look in the mirror. He realised he needed to work harder and that talent alone wouldn’t get him to where he wanted to go.

He also needed to be brave.

To play his position where you run at defenders is a tough one because more often than not you get stopped. The reason why attackers cost more than defenders is because their job is more difficult.

For Redmond to succeed he had to be prepared to keep going, and going at defenders, to lose the ball sometimes, to risk the booing and jeering of the crowd, but believe if he did it enough it would work out for him.

Under Mark Hughes this season he was improving. Under Ralph Hasenhuttl he has gone to another level.

That final decision – be it dribble, pass or shoot – is suddenly a good one more often than not, and then his technical ability sees him through. From one goal in 58 to four in five shows his progress.

His double was the highlight for Saints at Derby.

Otherwise it was a flat display. Saints had to do very little to be comfortably in control and go 2-0 up.

They had one foot in the fourth round but blew it as a couple of sloppy moments meant the game ended in a draw and replay they could do without.

Disappointingly, it’s also hard to see much that Hasenhuttl learned. Callum Slattery aside it was a pretty senior team he fielded.

At least for Redmond it was another step in the right direction.