MARTIN Semmens believes Ralph Hasenhuttl and Saints are the “perfect fit”.

Semmens’ relationship with the Austrian was key in convincing the St Mary’s chief to extend his stay on the South Coast.

Speaking exclusively to the Daily Echo, the club’s chief executive said: “I think it is the perfect fit.

“I’m not so sure whether it’s us needing him or him needing us. Ralph’s mentality is all about having a project.

“He once said to me that managing in professional sport is all about winning but the issue really comes down to deciding what winning means.

“Winning means lifting titles but it’s also about taking a project forward and I think he feels strongly that we have the ability here to feel like we are taking the club forward.

“Maybe that is something that’s equally as satisfying as going off and winning the Champions League with Real Madrid.”

The hope over the next four years is for Hasenhuttl to create a long-lasting legacy at St Mary’s which will ultimately lead to success.

Semmens believes a key part of that plan has been accomplished by getting the Austrian to agree on a new deal as it provides a degree of stability that’s been absent in recent years.

“The first thing is to deliver on a plan and have clarity on that plan by not chopping and changing direction when we have a bad time,” added Semmens.

“You can change direction when you’re winning and sail too close to the sunshine and you can also change direction when you have a bad few weeks.

“I think you have to have clarity and move forward.

“Making sure we develop Southampton as a football club, in the reflection of our history and in the Southampton Way, is incredibly important to us.

“We want to make sure we are fit for purpose during the next decade and not just looking back and talking about Luke Shaw and Gareth Bale.

“We will see success by bringing players through like Will Smallbone, Jake Vokins and Will Ferry.

“This football club will prosper and be successful if it stays in a group of clubs that are in and around the middle of the table.”