IT was quite the season on the south coast.

We’ve seen two managers; three sackings and a host of players leave the club.

As well as that, there was another relegation battle that looked like it was going to go down to the wire once again.

When the final whistle was blown on Saints’ 2018/19 campaign, there was an overriding feeling of optimism ahead of a pivotal summer for the club.

The Daily Echo’s Dan Sheldon takes a look at 10 key moments from the south coast side’s season.

1. Les Reed’s departure:

Daily Echo: Les ReedLes Reed

After Saints endured a dismal start to the season, former vice chairman Les Reed paid the price for the cost of failure last November.

Having joined the club back in 2010, Reed helped establish the club in the Premier League and had his crowning moment when he recruited Ronald Koeman.

However, a number of poor transfer windows and questionable managerial appointments had left Saints languishing near the foot of the table.

Claude Puel, despite finishing eighth, and Mauricio Pellegrino both failed to capture the imagination of the St Mary’s crowd.

The latter was sacked during his first season with the club as it looked as though he was about to take them down.

Reed then brought in Mark Hughes to save the club from relegation.

His departure signalled the end of an era at Saints and paved the way for the next sacking.

2. Mark Hughes’ sacking:

Daily Echo: Mark HughesMark Hughes

Having been appointed by Reed to keep the south coast club in the Premier League, Mark Hughes earned himself a three-year deal for completing that task.

But, with his closest ally no longer fighting his battles at boardroom level, the Welshman soon found himself out of the door in December.

One Premier League win from 14 matches saw Saints hovering in and around the relegation zone.

It’s understood that his training sessions, which were led by his assistant Mark Bowen, lacked any kind of intensity.

The players were left unsure of what was expected tactically from them on the pitch, with this playing a part in their wretched start to the season.

3. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s appointment:

Daily Echo: Ralph HasenhuttlRalph Hasenhuttl

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s appointment just before the hectic Christmas schedule was a risky one.

He was a manager without any experience in the league and, on paper, it looked as though he would need plenty of time to get players used to his style of play.

However, what transpired was perhaps Saints’ defining moment of the season.

The Austrian was able to transform the club’s season and steer them to Premier League safety with two games remaining.

Hasenhuttl brought an obvious style of play back to Saints that had the hallmarks of the exciting football fans used to see under former managers Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman.

Not only did he get the club back to winning ways, but the ex-RB Leipzig boss also started looking into the youth teams so he could give youngsters a chance.

4. Charlie Austin’s header:

Daily Echo: Charlie AustinCharlie Austin

If, as expected, Charlie Austin leaves Saints during this transfer window, then his goal against Arsenal will be remembered as one of the striker’s finest moments.

In a dramatic end-to-end game at St Mary’s, Austin headed the ball home in the final 10 minutes to give Hasenhuttl his first win in charge of the south coast side.

This surprise victory against the Gunners also led to Saints climbing out of the relegation zone and ending the away team’s run of 22 games without losing.

5. January’s clear out:

Daily Echo: Cedric SoaresCedric Soares

Hasnehuttl didn’t have to wait long to make his thoughts on the squad he inherited clear for everyone to see.

Although the club failed to add any new additions in the January transfer window, they excelled in getting rid of players.

Wesley Hoedt, Cedric Soares, Manolo Gabbiadini and Steven Davis all left the club.

Davis, who was out of contract this summer, joined his former club Rangers after falling down the pecking order, with Gabbiadini returning to Italy on a permanent deal.

Hoedt and Cedric were bombed out to Celta Vigo and Inter Milan on loan until the end of the season.

6. Hasenhuttl’s faith in the youngsters:

Daily Echo: Yan ValeryYan Valery

Having cleared out four senior players during the winter transfer window, the Saints chief turned his attention on bringing back The Southampton Way.

The St Mary’s side are renowned for their long history of bringing through players which is something that Hasenhuttl showed he wasn’t shy to do.

He handed out first team debuts to Marcus Barnes, Tyreke Johnson and Callum Slattery.

Although Yan Valery had already been used by Hughes, Hasenhuttl showed he trusted the young right back by getting rid of Cedric.

Valery repaid the Austrian in spectacular fashion by going onto be crowned as the club’s Young Player of the Year at their end of season awards.

7. James Ward-Prowse’s revival:

Daily Echo: James Ward-ProwseJames Ward-Prowse

James Ward-Prowse’s season should be split into two halves.

The first half came during the brief Hughes reign which saw the midfielder exiled from the starting XI, only for this to change with the former manager’s departure.

Under Hasenhuttl, Ward-Prowse was challenged to increase his physicality if he wanted to be a fixture in the heart of Saints’ midfield.

He responded in spectacular fashion by adding an edge to his game and by managing to set a new personal best of seven goals, including an excellent free kick at Old Trafford.

An upturn in form also saw the 24-year-old bag his second England cap away to Montenegro back in March.

8. The crushing defeat to Cardiff:

Daily Echo: Jack StephensJack Stephens

Saints could have had Premier League safety in the bag with a home win against Cardiff.

But it didn’t quite go to plan.

The visitors took the lead, only for Jack Stephens to hit a late equaliser which looked to have meant a share of the spoils for the relegation contenders at the time.

However, Cardiff went up to the other end of the pitch and ensured Saints remained contenders in the battle for the drop with a surprise win at St Mary’s.

Although they never led in this match, the last-gasp winner they conceded was indicative of their season.

Saints threw away a total of 29 points from leading positions this campaign, which is more than any other side in the Premier League.

9. Defying the odds against Tottenham Hotspur:

Daily Echo: Ward-ProwseWard-Prowse

One of those all-important victories came from the unlikeliest of matches.

When former boss Pochettino and his Tottenham side visited St Mary’s no one gave Saints a chance of winning.

Spurs dominated the first half and deservedly took the lead, only for them to go on and miss a handful of chances.

What happened next was quite remarkable.

Hasenhuttl’s team talk fired his team into life and saw them complete an incredible comeback against the odds, with Ward-Prowse netting a stunning free kick to seal the win.

The most important aspect of this victory was that every other side in the relegation battle also won that weekend, so Saints dealt a hammer blow to the other contenders with the three points.

10. Nathan Redmond’s crowning moment:

Daily Echo: Nathan RedmondNathan Redmond

The Saints ace has been the club’s best, and most consistent, player all season.

With Hasenhuttl at the helm, Nathan Redmond has gone from strength to strength, with the manager looking to make him the core of the team.

And on the final day of the season, the winger bagged his ninth goal to make him the club’s top scorer for the 2018/19 campaign.

It was no surprise to see Redmond scoop three Player of the Year awards.