MATT Le Tissier is excited about the club’s future under Ralph Hasenhuttl.

The Saints legend, who this week accepted an offer from chairman Ralph Krueger to be the club’s ambassador, is looking forward to what he believes will be a memorable year at St Mary’s.

As well as the recent performances, Le Tissier has been encouraged by Hasenhuttl’s training sessions,

“I’ve been very impressed with the training I’ve watched and the difference in the performance of the team since Ralph H has come in and am confident for the rest of the season,” he said.

“I’ve loved watching training under the last four or five managers since Ronald [Koeman] was in charge and there’s definitely an intensity to it that I’d not seen before.

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Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl

“I didn’t see them train under Mauricio [Pochettino] but imagine it would have been pretty similar.

“It’s nice to get a real handle on what’s going on there.

“Watching the team train also gives me a nice insight into the modern methods and how training has moved on since I was playing.

“Everything’s moved on in leaps and bounds in terms of the preparation and the number of staff available to assist.

“The whole training ground is like a completely different place to what we turned up to, it’s first class.

“But one of the big things that hasn’t changed from my day is the importance of a good team spirit.

“If you get that going it can help you overcome deficiencies when you’re playing teams with far better and more expensive players.

“So it’s been good to see the mood amongst the players looking very upbeat which it hasn’t always done in previous training sessions I’ve watched.”

After Saturday’s trip to Leicester and the FA Cup replay against Derby County Saints have back-to-back home games against Everton and Crystal Palace, ahead of six-pointers against Burnley and Cardiff.

Le Tissier believes Saints are in the midst of a season-defining period.

“This is a pretty crucial six or seven weeks where we play quite a few of the team around us,” he continued.

“If we get things right and the team perform we could be going into March quite a few points clear of the relegation zone and looking up at teams rather than over our shoulders.”

Hasenhuttl’s appointment – after turning down a new deal at RB Leipzig in the summer, having led the Bundesliga outfit into the Champions League for the first time - is looking like Saints’ shrewdest since the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino.

Daily Echo:

Mauricio Pochettino

“I was aware of what happened at Leipzig, but didn’t know about his record before that, or know if he’d had other offers to get back into football.” continued Le Tissier.

“I can only imagine he would have done and was just waiting for the right opportunity.

“Thankfully for us he thought this was it.”

Le Tissier has also been impressed by Hasenhuttl’s approach to the transfer window.

“The good thing about Ralph is that he hasn’t come in demanding ten new players,” he continued.

“He’s quite happy to have a look at the squad and take his time to decide what he feels he needs to strengthen.

“If that just means one or two in in January then perhaps a bigger change-around in the summer then so be it.”

Le Tissier would like to see a couple of additions

“I think we could do with a top quality centre-back, we’re pro ably lacking in that department a little bit.

“Having said that, Jan Bednarek and Maya [Yoshida] have stepped up to the plate in recent weeks and Jannik [Vestergaard] has improved as well.

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Jan Bednarek

“Everybody would like a goalscorer to complement Danny [Ings] but the club would like some money coming in before they splash out.”

In the meantime, Le Tissier has been pleased to see the blooding of so many young players under Saints’ forward-thinking new manager.

“We’d gone away from that a little under previous managers who had not have the faith in youngsters that Ralph has shown.

“It’s nice to see them given a chance.

“You’re only going to know if these kids are good enough by throwing them in there.

“Ok, they’ll show stuff in the U23 games, but you’re never going to be able to judge someone properly unless you give them a chance.

“We’ve had a tradition of doing it at this football club and its nice to see us get back to that.”

Thirty-two years after graduating from the youth team to make his debut, Le Tissier is looking forward to working even more closely with his beloved club.

Le Tissier added: “The firmer details are yet to be announced but the idea is to promote the club’s name within the city and in local communities when the players are on pre-season trips.

“I’ll also be there to do presentations if any of the players aren’t available and be at all the games my Sky commitments allow.”

Daily Echo:

Ralph Krueger

Krueger expressed his delight at making Le Tissier’s ambassadorial role official.

He said: “Matt’s history as a Saint needs no introduction, he has epitomised the club ever since he joined us as a schoolboy in 1985.

"Southampton Football Club means so much to Matt, so I’m looking forward to seeing him officially represent us through our work in the local community, our expanding commercial activities and around the world as we spread the message of the great work we do at our club.”