Ralph Hasenhuttl says the emergence of Josh Sims has been the biggest surprise of his time in charge with the Saints boss admitting the attacker has gone from “zero to hero.”

Sims started the season out on loan at Reading, and things were not exactly looking up for him when the Championship club opted to cancel the season long arrangement in January.

Hasenhuttl admitted that the 22-year-old wasn’t even on his radar, and in the early weeks after Sims returned to St Mary’s it was unclear if he would have any role going forward.

However, after seeing encouraging signs in training, Hasenhuttl rewarded Sims with a spot on the bench against Tottenham from where he produced a game changing display to help Saints to a famous victory.

Since then Sims has been heavily involved and got a first Premier League start of the campaign in the victory over Wolves, much to the delight of his manager.

“I think this is maybe the biggest surprise so far since I’m here,” smiled Hasenhuttl.

“This guy is really from zero to hero I think in a very short time.

“He was walking through an interesting time here, was on loan, came back and at first I didn’t know how to use him, how to handle him.

“I saw a little bit of quality but I did not know what is the best position for him, what are his biggest strengths and then you could see he has the quality of these deep runs and if you need this way of playing football he can be important for you.

“Suddenly a very good training session in front of the Tottenham game and then thinking about maybe for substitutes give him a chance on the bench, brought him on at half time and he had a fantastic second half and was the key why we turned the table on this game.

“Now that’s how it works in football. If you put something positive in the mind of the manager the chances rise that you play from the beginning.

“Last time he had the chance to play from the beginning and he grabbed his chance with both hands.

“It was a very offensive XI I took against Wolverhampton with less experience, you see Oriol on the bench, for example, and Longy stood out although he scored against Liverpool so it was a very tough decision.

“He grabbed this chance with both hands but now he’s in and showed also in the training sessions that I can count on him.

“That makes it very difficult for Stuie (Armstrong) because he’s training very well at the moment, and for Moi (Elyounoussi) the same. We have a few number tens now and he’s in front of them.

“I think that shows what is possible in football and how quick things are changing.

“That’s a good signal for everybody that the manager is looking at the quality in the training sessions and then if you get the chance you have to grab it.”