Saints have thrown their full support behind manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and are contemplating appointing a director of football to help him achieve his vision for the club.

Friday’s night’s record 9-0 loss to Leicester has sent shock waves through St Mary’s, but despite speculation that Saints would sack Hasenhuttl after such a hammering, the club appear to be doubling down on their support for the Austrian.

Owner Gao Jisheng and chief executive Martin Semmens are understood to believe that Hasenhuttl is the right man to bring back the good times to St Mary’s.

However, there is a realisation that it will take time to achieve given the drastic overhaul of the first team squad that needs to take place.

Saints feel that Hasenhuttl’s vision for Saints and the general direction and leadership he can provide is the perfect way to deliver change.

It is, therefore, for them to assist him by providing the tools he needs to get the job done.

The Daily Echo understands that the club are now considering appointing somebody in a director of football like role to work alongside Hasenhuttl and remove the burden of bossing the entire football operation of the club.

The new person will also take ultimate responsibility for the transfer policy, which must include a focus on getting players out as well as in.

The departure of football operations chief Ross Wilson for Rangers meant that the club decided they would appoint a player trading expert to replace him. The director of football would be an additional appointment sitting above that person.

Having a director of football would allow the new player trading expert the freedom to focus purely on the transfer business of the club without having to get involved in any other aspects of the operation.

The Daily Echo understands that Saints, led by Semmens, are setting themselves an ambitious timetable to get the new people in place so there is time to plan for the January transfer window.

Though January is a notoriously difficult time to not only sell players but also get in the quality of signings required to make a difference without breaking the bank, they still want the new appointments to have oversight of the situation to also enable them to prepare more thoroughly for next summer.

There is also increasing pressure on Saints owner Gao Jisheng to explain exactly what he wants from his ownership of the football club, and to make clear whether he plans to invest at any stage or to continue to run it as a purely self-sustaining business.