KEEPER Gavin Bazunu insisted there was “honesty and respect” among Saints’ four stoppers – as they all vie for a place between the sticks in the Premier League.

The former Shamrock Rovers youngster was brought into the setup at St Mary’s from Manchester City, for a reported £12million this summer.

It appears Alex McCarthy and Bazunu are the front-runners for a starting place in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first team, with their Premier League campaign set to get started at Tottenham on Saturday (3pm).

Willy Caballero and Mateusz Lis are, at present, expected to provide cover, with Bazunu saying each shot-stopper is invested in helping the group.

“It’s been absolutely great,” said the Republic of Ireland international.

“The four of us, myself, Mateusz, Willy, Alex and obviously Andrew Sparkes (goalkeeper) it’s all been really good and really positive.

“We are all working every day, just to improve on our own paths and our own journeys.

“Whoever is playing, from in the pre-season games, the three of us are there to back them up and make sure they are ready for the game.

“That will be the case throughout the course of the season.

“One of the first things we did when we came in for pre-season was Andrew Sparkes had a meeting between all four of the goalkeepers.

“We all sat down and we said what we wanted to line out as the things we wanted as a goalkeeper group. Just honesty and respect, and just to work well as a group together. That is what we have all done so far.”

Bazunu played 90 minutes during Saints’ final pre-season friendly against Villarreal last weekend, while McCarthy featured for the entirety of the previous clash with Monaco.

The 20-year-old added: “It’s a very interesting goalkeeping group in terms of the disparity between the ages.

“There’s at least five years between all four of us, which is very interesting but it’s a really good group in terms of the personality.

“The connection and feeling around the group is really good.”

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