SAINTS manager Ralph Hasenhuttl insisted there was “still a way to go” before summer signing Mohammed Salisu would be match fit.

The Ghanaian centre-half, signed from Real Valladolid for £10.9million back in August, is yet to appear for the St Mary’s side this season as he continues to build up his fitness.

Salisu has missed Saints’ opening nine games of the season in all competitions.

Asked for an update on the defender, Hasenhuttl told the Daily Echo: “He was training all the time with us more and more – in duels and everything. We must have a look how his body reacts now.

“There is still a way to go I think for being match fit, but very keen that he was now for a minimum in two weeks part of those sessions.

“He’s a calm guy but physically a very strong guy. He also shows on the ball that he has the calm we need to build up with his decision making.

“He is still learning what we want to do here. It’s not so easy – the way we defend, it’s a little bit different, more ball-orientated.

“But I am very happy he’s here. He’s a long-term project and I am sure that he will play a lot of games for us.”