RALPH Hasenhuttl isn’t concerned with Saints’ tough start to the Premier League.

The St Mary’s side begin their campaign today with an away trip to Burnley before playing Liverpool at home next weekend.

Following the encounter with the Reds, Saints will play Brighton, Manchester United, Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Tottenham and Chelsea.

Hasenhuttl said: “If you look at the schedule before the season in the Premier League it takes your breath away. 

“If you only look at names you think, ‘wow it’ll be difficult’. 

“Let’s play these games. If we work like we did, it was never easy for the other teams to play against us, so you can ask Liverpool whether they fancy it. 

“We played well against them [Liverpool] for 82 mins last season so I’m looking forward to these games for our supporters. I’m not afraid.”

Hasenhuttl has reason to be full of optimism after guiding Saints to an unbeaten pre-season.

After the opening draw against SCR Altach, they beat Preston North End, Guangzhou R&F, Feyenoord and FC Koln.

Danny Ings and summer signing Che Adams stood out, with both players finding the back of the net on more than one occasion.

And ahead of this afternoon’s curtain-raiser with Burnley, Hasenhuttl believes his methodology has had a positive impact on Saints.

He added: “I wanted to show them a clear red line through pre-season. 

“In pre-season, we had five parts and I wanted to show them a different topic every week and then at that weekend we could see what we learned. 

“We tried to develop everything with some new principles and habits and they can help us score more and concede less and I think they enjoyed it. 

“The most difficult decision this weekend is to reduce the squad from 22 to 18 at Burnley as everyone deserves to be part of the team – they all worked hard so it’ll be tough.”

One of the things Hasenhuttl made sure his players were well versed on is his preferred formation.

The former RB Leipzig boss was keen to implement his favoured 4-2-2-2 system but revealed that his side are now comfortable in different systems.

“We worked on a few different shapes and I can say we really tried to improve every shape, so we are very, very flexible – that’s necessary in modern football,” continued Hasenhuttl.

“With the foundation we had it was easy to develop every shape so they’re tactically further on from last year and this gives us opportunities to surprise opponents – that’s good, it’s what I want to see.”