Embarrassing. Humiliating. Desperate.

It’s hard to really find the words to describe Saints’ 9-0, yes, 9-0, defeat to Leicester at St Mary’s.

It was one of the darkest days in the long history of this great football club, and the look of shame on the faces of some of the honest, hard working staff who serve this fantastic place day in and day out with pride and integrity should be shown to the people who brought this feeling upon them.

And that’s before we mention the supporters, who braved horrible weather conditions to come and support their team, at considerable financial cost, and saw something no fan should ever see.

Getting beaten by a better team is something Saints fans have always had to accept down the years. Living without top quality players and so having to put up with inconsistent performances and errors is another.

But the very least they expect, and demand, is effort and at least a sense of mental resilience and backbone.

Sadly, those things were lacking against Leicester.

Of course, Leicester are a good team. Of course, the early red card for Ryan Bertrand left Saints with a mountain to climb.

However, it felt that after the early setback of conceding the first goal and losing Bertrand they accepted their fate and before they knew it they were in so deep that anything other than a hammering was unavoidable.

In the end the scale of the defeat grabs the headlines – Saints’ biggest ever loss, the largest away win in English top flight football etc etc.

The numbers, though, do not do justice to the story behind this for Saints.

Ralph Hasenhuttl now has a mammoth task on his hands to rebuild this squad’s shattered confidence. He also needs to restore some faith in his management. Ultimately, this is his team.

There are plenty of fans calling for his head already, and a few odd decisions in the aftermath of Bertrand’s red card didn’t help, but given this is the same group of players who have struggled so badly under successive managers, is another knee jerk change really going to make things better?

There is a wider debate to be continued over the direction of the club under Gao Jisheng, but that deserves to be revived with a little more clarity than is provided a few hours after the match.

Two trips to Manchester City in the space of a few days next week hardly provides much comfort, and so the pressure could really ratchet up another notch by the time Everton visit St Mary’s.

But it almost feels looking ahead is a pointless task after this.

Everybody needs a moment to draw breath and get over this loss. It is just too painful to merely brush aside.