Southampton struggled in the first half of last season under the guidance of Mark Hughes, who helped them avoid relegation during the 2017/18 season.

In December 2018, the ex-Manchester City manager was shown the exit door and Ralph Hasenhüttl was appointed as his successor. Southampton finished in the 16th spot with 39 points, five points ahead of 18th place Cardiff City.

The previous two campaigns have seen them struggle to avoid drop to the Championship and the 52-year-old looks to change it this term.

“We will try to be the best team we can be, with the highest level and willingness to win. If we have it, then we are hard to beat,” Hasenhüttl told Norway’s TV2.

However, the Austrian has seen his side suffer two defeats in the first two matches.

Prior to his arrival at St Mary’s Stadium, Hasenhüttl had only managed in Germany, where the competition at the top was not as fierce as the one in the Premier League.

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“The biggest difference from the leagues I’ve been to in the past [and the Premier League] is the top six clubs,” he explained.

“This is Europe’s highest level. I feel like I play in the Champions League throughout the year. I don’t know of any other leagues where the quality is so high.”

Hasenhüttl gives an insight on Southampton’s transfer policy and he hints the club’s failure to retain key players may hold them back from having ‘high aspirations’.

“We know our philosophy. It’s developing players who can move on to bigger clubs after a couple of years,” the Southampton coach said.

“That’s the way we are, and we’re comfortable with that. We cannot have the same goals as Liverpool and Manchester City. But we can have our goals, and last year we beat some of the big clubs. It means a lot. We learn a lot from it. Either we win – or we learn.”