Saints have plenty of motivation to keep pushing until the end of the season with an extra £10m up for grabs in Premier League prize money.

Though the first priority is for Saints to make mathematically certain of top-flight survival, there is also considerable financial motivation for the club and the players to maintain their recent form.

While Ralph Hasenhuttl wants his team to reach the 40 point mark as soon as possible there is also a sense that Saints can start to look up the table.

With around £2m per place in prize money up for grabs, and only six points separating Saints in 16th from West Ham in 11th, a strong late season run could mean a lot more cash to spend in the transfer window this summer and bonus payment for the squad.

Hasenhuttl said: “I know this and it’s an important part for the club because the final position in the table is important for the money and the players also have a bonus for better positions in the table. I can see clear that this is also motivation for the guys.

“For me it’s not the biggest one because I want to win every game if it’s possible. I don’t want to lose any game before the end of the season so it doesn’t make any difference.

“I prepare them like three months ago where we were maybe under the line and had a lot of pressure.

“The work doesn’t change in any case, the work is the same, the motivation is the same. I don’t have to put more pressure on them because we are in a maybe more comfortable position.

“They know exactly what they have to do and in the moment they like to do it very much and that helps us to make exhausting sessions and demand a lot from them.”

Saints take on the team immediately above in the shape of Newcastle tomorrow, with victory edging them a further spot up the table.

“It can be motivation for the guys. You see if we win against Newcastle we are one point above them so it’s like a six pointer at the weekend but in a different zone, not about relegation but taking the next step,” reflected Hasenhuttl.

“That’s a big motivation for us.”

Newcastle, however, are a tough team to beat at St James’ Park.

“They are a very good team in a fantastic stadium with a good atmosphere, a fantastic football atmosphere, and they do it very well at the moment. They are nearly safe and they want to make the last step to make 40 points,” admitted Hasenhuttl.

“For us it’s another good challenge to show that we can compete in away games.

“In Brighton we took three points and that was important for us, a massive win for us, and at Newcastle we try to do it again.

“We try to be a good balanced opponent that knows exactly what to do against a good organised team with a high quality and it’s not easy to take points there but it’s never easy in the Premier League.”