Anybody thinking that this season was going to simply wash away the problems of the past with barely a bump in the road is now facing reality.

A thumping 3-0 opening day defeat to Burnley proved just how much Saints and Ralph Hasenhuttl still have to do.

It was proof, as ever, that good pre-season results count for nothing, and left plenty to mull over for the manager.

He may well prove to be an excellent coach, maybe one of the best Southampton have had for some time, but to think that returning to past glories is in any way going to be a quick and easy process has been put into context in the space of the last few days.

Saints have managed to recruit three new signings during the summer, which is positive, but the fact they have yet to shift most of their considerable pile of deadwood underlines that it takes years, not months, to recover from a string of very costly transfer errors.

And no matter how good Hasenhuttl is or isn’t, any manager will always be limited by what their players can produce on the pitch.

Saints’ defensive frailties of the past were again on display at Turf Moor.

The conditions were tricky – driving wind and rain made it feel more mid-November than early August – but even so 12 minutes of madness leaves Saints on the backfoot after week one.

Kevin Danso’s signing is a reason for optimism, but he is 20-years-old and coming to the Premier League for the first time, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable for it to take some time for him to find his feet.

Up front Saints also didn’t look all that effective with the team Hasenhuttl picked.

It was a strange selection for a front three. You could understand why he wanted Che Adams as a focal point with his pace and power up against Burnley’s centre halves, but then to play Danny Ings deep was strange.

In pre-season, Ings looked more effective as the leading man with Adams playing a deeper wide role.

Even though Ings does drop deep as the main striker, playing him consistently deep is just not a role he looks suited for and suggests he must play through the middle or not at all.

On top of that, to see Saints’ pressing game largely negated by long balls, and those tactics to eventually become effective in securing a win, sent out a signal to the managers of future opposition.

With a difficult opening set of fixtures – Liverpool at St Mary’s is up next – Saints really needed something better than they got at Burnley.

It’s not the end of the footballing world for them, but has surely checked any unrealistic expectations.