Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn feels the “tougher demands” of manager Ralph Hasenhuttl have driven the team towards securing another campaign in the Premier League.
Austrian Hasenhuttl was appointed in early December following the departure of Mark Hughes, whose side had delivered only one win in 14 league games.
Roll the clock forwards some four months and Southampton are now within striking distance of safety on 36 points as they prepare for Saturday’s trip to Newcastle.
Initially having to be patient for his chance following a £13.5million switch from Manchester City, Gunn, 23, is one of the players to have become a regular member of Hasenhuttl’s settled team.
The England Under-21 international – who was invited to train with Gareth Southgate’s senior squad while on loan at Norwich last season – believes attention to detail from Hasenhuttl has proved key.
“In terms of what he has done for the whole team, he has definitely put a lot of tougher demands on everyone, improving individually and as well as a team,” Gunn told Press Association Sport.
“You can see that from everyone’s performances in the past few months.
“Hopefully we can take that into the last part of the season and then start the next one well also.”
Gunn, speaking on behalf of club sponsor Virgin Media at an event for their Super Saints fans initiative, added: “When the manager first came in, he was probably unsure of his best XI and was changing it quite a lot.
“With positive results comes more stability, and thankfully we have been doing that recently.
“When you win, you don’t really want to change too much before the next game, so hopefully we can take things from Wolves into Newcastle.”
Is pranking Ralph Hasenhüttl a good idea? 🤔#SaintsFC's @NathanRedmond22 and @jackstephens_18 found out with two @virginmedia#SuperSaints! https://t.co/ntzjcpNSv8pic.twitter.com/YvknizFYPY— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) March 21, 2019
Club sponsor Virgin Media has subsidised away tickets for Southampton supporters making the journey to St James’ Park.
Gunn hopes it will prove a worthwhile round trip – which will be some 650 miles from the south coast.
“The fans always travel in numbers when we go away and the last few home games have been bouncing,” the goalkeeper said.
“They can feed off the energy from the team, our performances have definitely raised them recently and hopefully they can get a good feeling for the next season as well.”
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