DANNY Ings is thriving after ‘changing his game’ during Saints’ incredible run.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed that the 16-goal Saints talisman’s form has improved after a recent fine-tuning of his technique.

Hasenhuttl said: “Ingsy has changed his game in the last weeks and month. He runs more deeply behind the lines. He doesn’t take that many touches also.

“He’s a fantastic footballer also but many times when I came here he took too many touches.

“Now he’s playing quicker and easier and the simple way which is often the best way to enter the box and to score.

“In the box he’s fantastic, he has a fantastic strike, left and right foot, and also very good behaviour when it’s about winning balls in the final third.

“It’s not a coincidence that only Liverpool and Man City have more ball wins in the final third than we have. This is because our strikers are working hard and the pressing is good.

“He has this mentality coming from Liverpool where they do it also in a good way and that helps because we are working on the same behaviours.”

With 14 top-flight goals this season, Ings has scored more than Lionel Messi and as many as Cristiano Ronaldo, while only Ciro Immobile (20), Robert Lewandowski (19), Timo Werner (18) and Jamie Vardy (17) have scored more.

Hasenhuttl worked with RB Leipzig star Werner during his two seasons with the Bundesliga leaders and says Ings has become more like the fleet-footed German striker in recent weeks.

“A little bit more yes, absolutely,” he continued. “He’s a little different to him but Timo is very, very quick and Ingsy is also quick. Timo was also a fantastic finisher and defenders were immediately on the back foot when he started to run because he was so quick.”

With Harry Kane injured, the ‘Ings for England’ bandwagon is gathering pace ahead of the friendlies against Denmark and Italy at the end of March.

Asked about his top scorer’s prospects, Hasenhuttl continued: “I think if one player from my squad deserves it then it’s him.

“He has done a marvellous job in the last weeks and the whole season.

“He has scored unbelievable goals and important goals for us and this is the best Danny Ings we have ever seen.

“If you want to pick him, it wouldn’t be the worst moment.”

After his dramatic deadline day arrival on a season’s loan from Liverpool 18 months ago, Ings began with eight goals in his 14 matches for his hometown club.

But he did not score after Christmas, leading many to fear he was a busted flush after two serious knee injuries curtailed his Anfield career.

Tales of Ings’ commitment to rehab are legend in Liverpool, not least swimming 21 miles – the equivalent of the English Channel – without using his legs at the club’s Melwood training ground.

Those long hours in the pool and in the gym are bearing fruit.

“Like all the players, it’s important for them to be fit because of the high workload,” continued Hasenhuttl.

“At the moment, he looks in really good shape and can work for 90 minutes or longer which gives me a good feeling.

“We don’t have to put him in every game and we rested him once against Chelsea and he has played the rest of the games.

“It didn’t seem that he was struggling with all those games we played at Christmas. There was a lot of work he did, and he also is happy about how the team is playing.

“He is working very good against the ball and with the ball.

“When he has a chance, he is very clinical.”

Ings has scored ten of Saints’ last 14 goals in the games he has started. But Hasenhuttl was encouraged to see Stuart Armstrong equalise at Leicester last week and Che Adams contribute his first Premier League assist with his sublime through ball for Ings’ winner at the King Power.

“As I’ve always said, it’s not that important it’s him scoring, it’s important that we are scoring,” continued the Saints boss.

“In the last games, Stuart showed he found his way back to the goal and that he can score. We have another few guys that can also score and also the guys who haven’t scored so far, like Che Adams in the last game, made a fantastic sub last week. I am very happy to have a lot of players in the attacking positions that I can trust.”

Meanwhile, Hasenhuttl admits even he has been surprised by the extent of Saints’ improvement.

With Saints going into today’s match against Wolves aiming for their seventh win in ten Premier League matches, he continued: “You couldn’t have expected that it would explode like this.

“The performances have got better and better, we got points against really big clubs and this is a massive signal for us.

“We wanted to show how far we are in our development and we have now 28 points that we couldn’t have expected in this moment.

“The table is still very tight still; when you win two or three times you step forward and when you lose two or three times you’re suddenly in a relegation battle.

“You have to keep calm and look from game to game which is what we do. It’s fantastic that the team feel comfortable in the moment.

“I have a feeling we created something special now, especially our work against the ball is getting better and better.

“We’re not easy to play against at the moment and you have to be like this otherwise the Premier League is too good and it’s too difficult to take something.

“We have the quality to compete with every team in the league which is a good feeling.”