RALPH Hasenhuttl has been reflecting on a year in charge of Saints.

The Austrian replaced the sacked Mark Hughes this time last December and guided the club to Premier League safety.

This season has seen Saints struggling at the wrong end of the table again, although they registered their first home win of the campaign against Watford on Saturday.

Summarising on a hectic year, Hasenhuttl said: “I hope my English is getting a little bit better – the washing machine has gone.

“I think I made a lot of experiences. It was a very, very intense year for me. Especially in the last weeks because we learned a lot.

“We learned what can happen if you make a few mistakes or if you have a few problems in the team.

“It’s important that you go through such a period as a manager.

“I know that I had a lot of success in my past as a manager and this was a new situation for me but when I was coming here I knew it was a different challenge to coaching a Champions League club.

“I was from the first moment clear that this can happen and that you must be strong in every moment.”

Before taking the posting at Saints, Hasenhuttl plied his trade in Germany with RB Leipzig.

The Austrian guided them to second in the Bundesliga and into the Champions League with players such as Naby Keita and Timo Werner.

Despite going toe-to-toe with German and European giants Bayern Munich, Hasenhuttl admitted the Premier League caught him by surprise.

He added: “I must say I love this league. I love to work here, and I love this way of playing football in this league.

“It was surprising me for how strong this league is and how difficult it is to take a win.

“It’s not a surprise or coincidence that everyone around the world loves the Premier League.

“The games are intense and the way we see the games here are different. Even the big teams don’t go into games thinking it’s going to be an easy win.

“You have to fight for every point and for every win which is something very special for this league.

“That’s the reason why I really enjoy working here.”