RALPH Hasenhuttl wants is players to know what it’s like to play for Saints again.

The squad flew out to Austria on Monday for an intensive week of pre-season training which will culminate with a match against SCR Altach on Sunday.

Hasenhuttl has been subjecting his players to double sessions as they prepare to get ready for the upcoming campaign.

Speaking to the Southampton FC website, the Austrian said: “The work against the ball this week is one of our topics. 

“They were two months away the guys and it’s important they get to know again what it’s about playing football for Southampton.

“It’s about freshening up everything and also preparing for the friendly games that are following in the next weeks. We can use different shapes maybe, or try something new, and that’s what we will do in the next weeks.”

What Hasenhuttl takes in over the next few weeks will be crucial to how they start their Premier League season in August.

The St Mary's side have a difficult opening run of matches, where they will play Manchester United and Liverpool almost immediately.

"We have to know in the Premier League it's not possible to start in an easy way,” continued Hasenhüttl.

“We have immediately very, very hard games to face, very strong opponents to face, and when we start the league we must be on the highest level possible, so we have to use the six weeks to get as best as possible, so that we can immediately take points in the season.

“The earlier we take points, the less pressure you have during the season.

“It's a long season, we know this, but we don't want to come another time in this situation where we are struggling or getting a lot of pressure because we are in, or near, the relegation zone.

“The first four games, we have two at home against big teams, and away they are also not easy games, so it is a tough schedule.

“But if you look at the schedule you never know. Every game you can take something, but every game you can lose.

“It's about getting convinced about our strengths, about our automatism and our habits, and if we do that then we know we can be a nasty opponent for every team.”

Before the players jetted off on their summer holidays, Hasenhuttl handed them all individual fitness plans.

His motivation behind this was that so when they returned he didn’t have to waste any time getting them back up to speed.

And given Hasenhuttl’s style of play, it’s vital that he has the full six weeks to work on tactics with his side.

Joining in December last year meant that the Austrian was unable to fully implement his philosophy due to the time restraints and the demands of the Premier League.

However, with a full pre-season now underway, Hasenhuttl admitted just how vital it’s going to be.

He added: “It’s very important for me to have the group for this whole six weeks, where we can try something new and we can work on the fundamentals, and develop our game in every part.

“I think we need this time and we have all the facilities here to work hard and to develop our game. 

“It is something of a bonus time you have with the guys, without the pressure of winning games, so you can focus on a lot of things you want to improve with them.

“I’m very excited. The guys came back with good condition, with all the work they have to do in the break, and I think we have a good fundamental level from which to start immediately into the hard sessions. So far, we have done so without any problems and enjoyed it a lot.

“For us, it’s important when they are coming back that they are in good shape and then we can immediately work with them and the team. We have 22 fit players here, plus four goalkeepers, and a few young guys are also with us.

“I think the group can slightly change in the next weeks, but in the core is the group that we want to start the season.”

One player who is going to be key to Hasenhuttl’s vision is new striker Che Adams.

“I think it’s important for him to be immediately part of the group,” continued Hasenhuttl.

“I think he enjoys so far what we do with him and he shows that he is a very robust and good team player. He is open-minded, he wants to learn very quick, and that is exactly what we need.”