Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has emphasised the importance of a strong finish in the Premier League, as Southampton get set to take on the final nine games of the campaign.

Currently sitting in 11th place, Saints will be targeting a top 10 finish for the first time since the 2016/17 season and begin the run-in with a trip to Leeds on Saturday.

The boss also has additional reasons for chasing a top half finish, stating: “We try to focus on these nine games that they are, for us, very crucial for our future.

“It makes a big difference if you end up in the top 10 positions leading to the transfer window in the summer. In this position, it gives you more opportunities as a club.

“Also as a player, to stand yourself in the window for international caps. I mean, it’s not a coincidence that it was the first time [in eight years] that there were three players in the England national team.

“This is a signal and you see with good performances what you can achieve, even if you are playing with us and this is good to watch.

“This week we had a lot of players out on international games doing a good job and some qualified for the World Cup, like Jan Bednarek, and this is good for the players.”