Ralph Hasenhuttl has wasted no time in shaking things up since arriving at Southampton and the fresh injection of ideas has given the relegation-threatened club huge optimism for the future despite their perilous position.
The Austrian manager has already started to turn things around on the south coast by inspiring Southampton to a handful of promising results, including a 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last time out.
Collecting points against the top-four clubs away from home represents something of a bonus for teams threatened by relegation, and after consistently watching their club crumble against high calibre opposition the result arrived as a breath of fresh air for the Saints faithful.
But it’s not only the philosophy which Hasenhuttl has installed that made an impact against Chelsea, as his decision to start Angus Gunn between the sticks for his first league start since arriving from Manchester City also paid dividends.
Indeed, Gunn was in exceptional form and he made a handful of saves to earn Southampton a priceless point, earning esteemed praise from BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks in his team of the week column.
‘Your football team have conceded 24 goals in the past 10 games and the manager decides to put you in goal away at Chelsea for your league debut?
‘It takes a brave manager to make such a decision, but a goalkeeper with enormous guts and determination to come through the match with a clean sheet.
‘Angus Gunn’s decision-making was spot on and his save from Eden Hazard in the first half set him up for the remainder of the match.’
The 6’5″ colossus was an unbeatable frame in Southampton’s goal and his debut performance points towards an incredibly bright future in English football.
At just 22-years-of-age Gunn is in the formative stage of his career, particularly for a goalkeeper, and the manner in which he handled the responsibility which Hasenhuttl bestowed upon him suggests he has the mental strength to establish himself as the club’s number one.
Alex McCarthy will certainly take some beating to become Southampton’s first-choice stopper but the early signs are there to suggest Gunn is destined to usurp him.
Southampton fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience