BOSS Ralph Hasenhuttl heaped praise on “fantastic” Alex McCarthy and hailed the work done by Saints’ goalkeeping department.

McCarthy pulled off no fewer than eight saves in total during the St Mary’s side’s 1-1 draw at Wolves on Monday.

No goalkeeper in the Premier League has kept more clean sheets than McCarthy this season, with four coming from nine games.

He is joined on the top of that list by Rui Patricio, Lukasz Fabianski, Emiliano Martínez and Édouard Mendy.

McCarthy regained the number one spot in the league for Saints 12 months ago and went on to play 31 times in all competitions last season.

He fought off competition from Angus Gunn and Fraser Forster for a starting spot this campaign – the former now on loan at Stoke City.

Asked about 30-year-old McCarthy’s performance against Wolves, Hasenhuttl said: "He was fantastic.

"When you see his goalkeeping now compared to one year ago, we have stats on how high he plays now and how calm he is on the ball, how good his decision making is with the ball.

"There has been some massive work done with the goalkeepers from my goalkeeping coach (Andrew Sparkes), massive praise for the work they all do.

"We must develop every player but also the goalkeeper. He (McCarthy) did a very good job."

McCarthy has pulled off 29 saves in total in the division this season.

He also earned praise from forward Theo Walcott, who found the net in the clash at Wolves.

Walcott added: “He has been absolutely top drawer.

“Some of the saves on Monday were just outstanding to be honest. He has been like that from day one since I have been here – not just in games but training.

“The level of all the goalkeepers has been fantastic but Alex, particularly in the games, has kept us in there.

“He’s made some very good saves not many keepers would actually make so I’m pleased for him.”