RALPH Hasenhuttl is determined to leave a long-lasting legacy at Saints after signing a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2024.

The South Coast side’s manager hasn’t stayed at a team for longer than two years but his spell at St Mary’s will exceed way beyond that timeframe.

Saints are currently 14th in the Premier League table but Hasenhuttl has plans to steer the club into the top-10 and, hopefully, into the European places.

“It’s a big responsibility,” Hasenhuttl explained to the Daily Echo.

“It’s a big challenge for me but it’s also a big chance to create a term of success where you are looking back at it in 20 years’ time and can say that it was a successful time for the club.

“You want to be proud of what you have done when you look back and this is the first time I’ve agreed to such a long-term contract.

“At my former clubs I didn’t do it and I know it’s a big responsibility because you can really change the face of the club over the long term.

“We have just started our project, we’ve developed the SFC Playbook and we are developing the academy, so it’s important that we get the feeling that we stay as a committed, well-organised football club.

“The players know exactly what we have to do, and we are very proud to be part of this city and Southampton should be proud of this football club.”

An important factor of Hasenhuttl signing his new four-year contract was down to the relationship he’s developed with chief executive Martin Semmens.

The duo are on the same page in terms of where the club should be and have complete trust in each other’s actions.

Because of this, Saints allowed Hasenhuttl to build a club in his vision which saw the development of the SFC Playbook.

This trust was most evident when Semmens decided to stand by the Austrian following their 0-9 defeat at home to Leicester.

And Hasenhuttl said the faith shown to him during that period made him realise he was at the right team.

He added: “It is not normal that a club sticks by you when you are really struggling but I think this moment has brought us together and made us stronger.

“The commitment from Martin to stick with this was because he saw how much we had invested every day to make us better.

“We want to get this club to what we are known for which is a club that develops young players, makes them famous Premier League players and then maybe sell them.

“This is our way and we will also do this in the future. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be looking at the top seven positions in the table.”

With his contract announcement out of the way, Hasenhuttl’s full focus will be on getting Saints ready for the Premier League’s resumption later this month.

Sitting 14th in the table, seven points clear of the relegation zone, the St Mary’s side should be able to wrap-up top-flight survival sooner rather than later.

Attention can then turn to next season, where Hasenhuttl will be hoping to push the club on to start fighting to finish inside the top-10.

But, according to Saints’ manager, the path to success starts behind the scenes and then flows out on to the pitch.

“I must say that building a structure up within the club with Matt Crocker and Martin should lead us to a more successful future,” Hasenhuttl reflected.

“The important thing is that why see take small steps in our development so that it stays healthy.

“You don’t want to take big risks financially. We need to stick to what we can do and be within our guidelines.

“Football is a game of results and we must offer good results because, in the end, it’s about where you finish in the table.

“However, sometimes it’s about more than that.

“It’s about knowing what role you play in the city and I think we are very committed to this which is important for us.”