RALPH Hasenhuttl has urged his side "not to fall back to old behaviours" after their excellent performance against Everton last weekend.

Speaking after the 2-0 win over the previously unbeaten league leaders, Hasenhuttl hailed the display as "one our best performances" as Saints extended their unbeaten run to four matches.

They will look to take that sequence into a fifth game on Sunday, with a trip to face Aston Villa (12pm).

Victory over Dean Smith's men would see Saints leapfrog Villa and likely move them into the top four of the Premier League, dependent on results elsewhere.

And given the impressive display against the Toffees last time out, Hasenhuttl is eager for his side to use that performance as the base level for their upcoming games.

"It’s always important that you grab points as quick as possible," said the Saints boss.

"After the first two games it didn’t look like this could be a better start (than last season), but it was good that we found our winning track back as quick as possible.

"In the end it’s not important to have more points in the beginning, it’s important to have consistency in your performances, because that helps you massively to be a team that competes with the others.

"We have now belief in what we are doing. The last four games, really good, especially the last one absolutely. With the ball, against the ball, it was a very good performance.

"This is now the level we want to take as a fundament. From this we want to build up and not fall back to old behaviours and try to build up from this level where we are now because everything is still not perfect, everything is still not fantastic so new challenges are coming and tough fixtures.

"You must always be able to reach this highest level and then you have a chance and this is the goal every week."

Given Everton's flying start to the season, many expected Carlo Ancelotti's men to continue their run at St Mary's last weekend.

Speaking to the Daily Echo this week, captain James Ward-Prowse, who netted in the win over Everton, reflected on that victory saying: "For a team to come to St Mary’s unbeaten, I think the manager was very keen to make a point and to make a statement."

Many bookmakers have Villa down as narrow favourites to beat Saints on Sunday.

Asked if he prefers playing with the underdog tag, Hasenhuttl said: "You can be sure that we go out with a lot of self-confidence and belief in what we’re doing.

"We are very convinced about what we do, but I also like it when we are a little bit below the radar, so nobody else has us on his sheet. Then we can maybe surprise people when we are playing well.

"It’s not so much about the noise around the game, our whole energy always goes into the stuff that helps us in winning games. There is more about details, about game plan, about behaviours with and without the ball, finding solutions for everything that can happen in this game.

"This is the focus for every weekend and our whole concentration goes in this part of preparing for such a game.

"In general, it should help more than thinking about why they think we are strong or not. That’s not interesting for us."