Jack Stephens says he can sense Saints are getting "stronger and stronger" under Ralph Hasenhuttl.

The new manager delivered a fourth Premier League win in less than seven weeks in charge as Saints defeated Everton 2-1 at St Mary's.

It has been a sharp upturn in fortunes with previous boss Mark Hughes only able to guide Saints to three league wins in nearly nine months at the club.

Central defender Stephens has been a key figure in recent weeks under Hasenhuttl and is enjoying the positivity.

He said: “The manager’s come here, has invented his game plan and how he wants us to play. We’ve taken that on board and each week we seem to be getting stronger and stronger.

"You can see that by the performances, the confidence is growing. We feel like the good side we always knew we were.

It was just about getting confidence back and getting a clear game plan. "

He added: "Obviously last year was really difficult for us, we managed to just get ourselves out of it.

"We knew as a club and as a team we didn’t want to be in that situation again coming into the April and May months.

"It is important we carry on with what we produced today, last week and at Chelsea. That will keep us out the relegation zone. We just need to keep backing it up now.

"We’ve had seven points out of our last three games which is a great return for us, but we are only three points out of that relegation zone. The reality is we are still right in that fight.

"We need to keep working, keep improving and working hard and try and get as many points on the board as possible.

"There are teams around us who are winning as well and no-one will be giving up easy."