SAINTS icon Matt Le Tissier believes Ralph Hasenhuttl has "reaped the rewards" of staying at St Mary's.

Le Tissier reckons the Austrian could have walked away from the club following their heavy defeat to Leicester back in October by thinking he's not good enough to manage in the Premier League.

But Hasenhuttl was backed by the board and has since helped guide the club to 14th place, seven points clear of the relegation zone.

"The club are delighted that Ralph has signed, and it's great news for all Southampton fans," Le Tissier told the Football Show on Sky Sports.

"I know for a fact that they've done a lot of work during lockdown on how to take the club forward.

"It was a bit disorganised when Ralph came in, but he's really impressed the board and they stuck by him despite the freak result against Leicester.

"After that result, it would have been easy for him to go to the board and say, 'I'm not good enough for this.' 

"He's reaped the rewards of staying."

Le Tissier also highlighted Hasenhuttl's work ethic throughout the lockdown which has seen Saints' manager help create the SFC Playbook.

The Saints legend added: "He's sat down during lockdown and written up a complete plan of how the club should be, right from the Under-9s.

"They've done a heck of a lot of work on this. From what I've heard, Ralph is loving his time at Southampton and wants to be there for a long time."