DANNY Ings believes that Southampton is in for an “exciting” time next season.

Saints have started their first pre-season under manager Ralph Hasenhuttl ahead of the new campaign which gets underway in August.

And Ings, who sealed his permanent move to St Mary’s from Liverpool for £18.72m on Monday, piled the praise on the south coast side’s boss.

Speaking to talkSPORT, the Saints striker said: “It feels great. Being here on loan last year, I really felt like a Saints player.

“Now it’s all been completed, I’m over the moon. I just can’t wait to get going now.

“He [Hasenhuttl] is very impressive.

“From day one it was new rules. He is very strict but we all wanted to move in the right direction.

“I feel like the lads have really bought into that and you saw that in the performances towards the back end of the season.

“We were showing signs of what we can be about.

“After a full pre-season under him, it’s going to be a really exciting time for the city.”

The 26-year-old has had rotten luck over the last few years, having suffered terrible back-to-back knee injuries at Liverpool.

He ruptured his ACL which kept him out of action for four months before making his comeback and, in his first game back, he injured his other knee.

And after spending 11 months on the sidelines, Ings admitted there were times he thought his career would be over.

“For any player who suffers back-to-back knee injuries, it’s very difficult to come back from,” continued Ings.

“I had the right support and team around me with my rehab at Liverpool and things off the pitch after I got those injuries were becoming pretty difficult at that time.

“I worked so hard with the first one and was back training within four months. It was a really intense rehab.

“To do my other knee in my first game back, under the lights at Anfield, I thought it was going to be very difficult to bounce back from.

“I had surgery and worked extremely hard to get myself back into the best shape I possibly could.

“I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and here I am today. I’m in great shape, I’ve looked after myself over the summer and I feel extremely confident within my body.

“I just can’t wait to get started down here.”

With the injury problems that have hampered his career out of the way, the local lad knew it was the right time for him to come home and join Saints.

The striker bagged eight goals for the club last season in 25 appearances and paid tribute to the faith they’ve shown in him and his body.

“It’s a new challenge for me and I knew it was the right moment to leave.

“Thankfully, Liverpool worked with me to get the best club and I couldn’t be in a better place than Southampton right now.

“It’s good to have a club who believe in me and believe in my body again.

“After everything that happened, it’s just about moving forward and moving on to different challenges.

“I’m here and I’m with my family now. It’s the best place for me and I’m super happy to be here.”