FORMER Saints player Jamie Redknapp praised the St Mary’s side’s hierarchy for sticking with Ralph Hasenhuttl.

There were calls in the aftermath of the home defeat to Leicester for the Austrian to lose his job but the board remained defiant in their support for the former RB Leipzig chief.

And with Saturday’s win over the Foxes still fresh in the mind, Redknapp called the club’s decision to back him a “masterstroke”.

Writing in the Daily Mail, he said: “To lose 9-0 is humiliating. To lose 9-0 at home is even worse, as Southampton discovered against Leicester City in October. Yet then on Saturday, they exacted some revenge of their own.

“Imagine the pressure Ralph Hasenhuttl was feeling after that 9-0 loss.

“It equalled the 24-year-old record for the biggest-ever Premier League defeat and left Southampton sitting inside the relegation zone. He will have walked into that dressing room afterwards lost for words.

“He will have known the following day’s newspapers would be filled with quotes from club sources claiming the manager has lost the players’ support and must go.

“This was the ultimate embarrassment, no doubt the lowest point of Hasenhuttl’s managerial career, and they had the small matter of a trip to Manchester City coming up next.

“He probably left St Mary’s Stadium that night expecting to get the sack, and nine times out of 10 that would be the case. Yet the club’s board went down a different route — a very rare route. They showed patience. They said Hasenhuttl is still the right man for the job.

“A few months on, it is looking like a masterstroke that they did not hand him his P45. Hasenhuttl has turned to 4-4-2. Danny Ings is flying and they must be confident of surviving now.”