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Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire

PA

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has signed a new four-year contract with the club.

The 52-year-old was appointed at St Mary's in December 2018 and has proved a popular appointment, turning around his side's fortunes after a 9-0 home defeat to Leicester in October.

Saints chief executive Martin Semmens said: "From day one, Ralph has had a positive impact on the club, everyone within it and our fans.

"He joined our club at a time when strong leadership was needed to drive the club forward. This he delivered, but it was the clarity of vision that has ultimately led us to this point."

Hasenhuttl arrived at St Mary's to replace Mark Hughes, who was dismissed in December 2018 with the club sitting 18th in the Premier League table.

Despite the Leicester embarrassment, there were few calls for Hasenhuttl's head, and the club entered the coronavirus lockdown in 14th place in the table, seven points above the relegation zone.

Semmens added: "To witness first-hand the recovery of the first team around Christmas under his clear leadership has given us all a template of how to drive the club forward.

"It is important now that the club, led by our director of football operations Matt Crocker, put in place all the support structures around Ralph to produce success, not just for the remaining nine games of this season, but into the long term future of the club.

"There has never been any question in my mind that Ralph is the right man to lead our club, and I look forward to working in partnership with him over the next four years.

"I know there is no one who will work harder to bring success back for our fans."

Noting the "challenging" moments of his reign so far, Hasenhuttl said he had no hesitation about signing a deal which keeps him at the club until 2024.

Hasenhuttl said: "This, for me, was a simple decision. Simple because of the relationship that I have built with the club, the players and the fans, and also because of the relationship they have built with me too.

"We have already had some moments where we could celebrate together, and some that have been emotional and also challenging.

"My players, our staff, and of course the supporters must understand my commitment to this club and to what we are trying to build together.

"We value the same philosophies, and this is a big part of why I want to stay here, and I hope we can share in some very successful moments moving forward."