SAINTS’ new signing Dan Harding admitted it was an “easy” decision to join the club after speaking to Alan Pardew.

The former England Under-21 defender became the first player brought into Saints by the new manager after joining on a free transfer on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old left back, who was released by Ipswich in the summer, said it didn’t take long to make up his mind.

“I’m very pleased,” he said. “When I got the call from the manager it was something that interested me straight away.

“Thankfully it was all done in a couple of days and I can get in, meet everyone and start working hard.

“When I spoke to Alan to start off with he said how he wanted to play and his style of play suited my game.

“Hopefully it will be a good combination for both of us.

“It was an easy decision, I just wanted to get playing football and this is a massive club.

“The way Alan was talking about how he wants to play hopefully that will suit my game and people can see the best of me then.”

Harding, who finished last season on loan at Reading, has been impressed with the set up at Saints since arriving.

He believes the club has now passed its lowest ebb and will be on the way up soon.

“It’s unbelievable, they’ve got everything here set up to be in the league above and the league above that,” he said.

“The foundations are here and now it’s just up to the players, the squad and the manager to produce.

“It’s without a doubt a Premiership club.

“It’s set up to be in the Premiership and hopefully that’s what the manager and the squad can bring.”

Harding added: “This is the bottom as it goes for Southampton.

“I believe the only way is up now and I want to be a part of that success.”

Harding, whose career has also taken in spells at Brighton and Leeds, as well as Southend on loan, believes Saints can make the play-offs this season, despite starting their campaign with a ten-point deficit.

“I think top six is what we’re going to be aiming for,” he said.

“The ambition of the manager, he wants top two, so that shows the ambition of the manager.

“As players we’ve got to show that, take each game as it comes and without doubt we’ll be up there towards the end of the season.”