RALPH Hasenhuttl has explained why he felt it was "important" to freshen up his backroom staff this summer.

Ruben Selles and Alex Clapham joined the club, while Carl Martin was promoted up from the under-18s to the first-team set-up.

Richard Kitzbichler, Alek Gross and Andrew Sparkes remained in their roles, while out went coaching trio Kelvin Davis, Dave Watson and Craig Fleming.

Discussing that decision, Hasenhuttl told Sky Sports: "It was important for us, I think, after nearly four years with me and the same group, that we make some changes.

“It doesn’t mean we have done a bad job in the last years. I think we definitely did a very good job to stay in the league with this team every season without any relegation problems.

“But we have tried to give the players a new input and we have tried to give them some new voices on the pitch because they deserved to get that after such a long time.”

He added: “The first step, if you want to get better, is always to see what you haven’t done well, being self-critical and honest to yourself."

Saints, who slipped to a 15th-placed finish after a disappointing run of form to end last season, get their new Premier League campaign underway at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (3pm).

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