After a long spell spent on the sidelines injured, Ryan Bertrand has only been back for six games. But that’s been enough time for the defender to realise how good a manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is.
In fact, Bertrand believes Hasenhuttl has given back Saints’ playing identity - something he says was lost in a roundabout way under former boss Mark Hughes.
“The manager has come in and has given us an identity. He has given us a clear style of play and doesn’t leave any stone unturned,” Bertrand said.
“It’s a real pleasure to go to the field like that and not have people questioning each other what to do.
“When there is an argument, they are genuine arguments because everyone knows their role and will know if they haven’t done something right.
“If you were to ask 100 people what Southampton’s style of play was, the answers would all be similar.
“It would be that we are a high pressing team, very competitive and play some good football. Before, it might have been adrift.”
Under Hughes, Saints only mustered one win under Hughes before being sacked in December. In the six games Bertrand has been back from injury under the Austrian coach, Saints have picked up three wins.
Bertrand believes having a coach of Hasenhuttl’s quality is the reason behind Saints’ success, relatively speaking, and that he has instilled a proper team mentality among his players.
“From the outside, fans might want more from their teams or want the team to show passion, show commitment and make tackles,” Bertrand added.
“In the game, you need a gameplan to be able to do it on a more consistent basis in the Premier League.
“We are playing at such a high level that if you are to go out and just worry about yourself and think that I am going to get in my opponent’s face, you’ll leave a gap and they will score.
“They will play one-twos around you, but with a philosophy, you do it together.”