MANAGER Russell Martin admits he still makes "loads of mistakes" but insists he is ready to attack the Premier League with Saints.

Martin penned a new three-year contract this week to add a year to his terms and display commitment between the club and boss.

Rewarded following promotion to the Premier League at the first attempt last season, Martin's coaching staff have also signed new deals.

Saints visit Newcastle United on Saturday, August 17, in their season-opener - with Martin open about his excitement at the prospect.

Martin said: "I feel like last year was the toughest year I have ever had professionally and personally but I am so much better for it.

"I feel better as a coach and as a person but there is still so much to improve - I still make so many mistakes.

"I am really willing to learn and I think the people here know that. Contrary to popular belief, I am really willing to listen to opinions.

"My only intention here is to be the best I can possibly be - and it's the same with my coaches - and I have to hope that is enough.

"This year is going to be a huge challenge in the Premier League as the first time I've been there as a manager, but I am so excited about that.

"Nothing changes for me, we have a group of players in the dressing room that I love working with and of course, we will add to that.

"Some will move on but if we can keep that core group together and keep growing then I think we are capable of so much in the next year or two.

"We all have to stay relentless with the work ethic and the vision but I think that is what excites me the most.

"We know there will be some tough days - the Premier League is a beast - so we have to get better at what we do.

"The focus will be on being the best team we can be and we won't go into games fearing opposition or just trying to not get beat."

Saints boss Russell Martin and captain Jack Stephens celebrate promotionSaints boss Russell Martin and captain Jack Stephens celebrate promotion (Image: PA)

It has been more than a month since Saints celebrated their promotion in the north car park at St Mary's with a hungover squad on stage.

Martin insists the work has not stopped since then with preparations under way for the club's return to the top flight.

He said: "I was in bed ill two days after the play-off final having Teams meetings with the owners, talking about our plans.

"We had been preparing for both being in the Premier League and the Championship for so long and thankfully we have gone the best way.

"It was straight back to work. I was watching players, speaking to people and it has been like that since.

"I had some time away with my kids and it was amazing, albeit not very long. It hasn't been a break, it's been a lot of work.

"Phil (Parsons), Rasmus (Ankersen), Henrik (Kraft), Dragan (Solak) - all the guys - and head of recruitment Darren Mowbray has been here, there and everywhere chatting to people.

"That is the job but I love it - now we need to put a team on the pitch that people are proud of again."