ALEX McCarthy revealed that Fraser Forster is "doing everything" he can to help him as he settles in as Saints' first choice goalkeeper.

Having played every minute of the club's opening 21 games, Forster, who had come in for flack from supporters for his performances, was dropped and replaced by McCarthy for the trip to Manchester United on December 30.

The 28-year-old has now played three consecutive games, keeping two clean sheets (including one at Old Trafford) in three outings, and is grateful to Forster and third choice goalie Stuart Taylor for their guidance as he beds into the starting XI.

"I don’t think you’ll find many goalkeepers who do that," he said, when asked if he and Forster had discussed the change between the sticks.

"Training is the same; me and Stu while Fraser was playing were doing everything to help him.

"Now I’m playing they’re doing everything they can to help me; we’ve got a tight group here with Dave (goalkeeping coach Dave Watson) and it all works well."

The former Reading stopper, who joined Saints for £2m from Crystal Palace in August 2016, has come into Mauricio Pellegrino's struggling side at a desperate time.

Following nine successive Premier League games without a victory, Saints sit precariously above the relegation zone with goal difference alone separating them and the bottom three.

Pellegrino, who led his team to a much-needed victory in the FA Cup third round at Fulham on Saturday, has tried to resolve the team's faults.

The under pressure 46-year-old has pointed to a lack of confidence which has seen Saints drop too deep and concede costly goals.

McCarthy is adamant, however, that Saints are not being inhibited on the pitch by their concerning league position ahead of a trip to Watford – a side who have lost six of their last seven league games – on Saturday (3pm).

"No, not at all," he said.

"It’s just a dip we’ve had but hopefully with the result at the weekend we can crack on.

"I don’t think any of the lads will say that’s all we’re thinking about.

"I wouldn’t say we’re out there thinking about it; we’re just trying to do as best as possible."

He added: "It is frustrating for the fans and they want to see goals and three points as much as we do.

"We’ve had a dip but hopefully we can turn that around now and go on a run."

Pellegrino is coming under increasing pressure from the fans as Saints struggle under his leadership, but McCarthy insists that the team are behind their besieged boss.

"Yes, 100 per cent," he said. "If everyone is pulling in the right direction together it makes things a lot easier."

McCarthy made his Premier League debut for Saints at Old Trafford and hasn't looked back in his subsequent appearances against Crystal Palace and Fulham.

He said: "I’m happy with the way it’s gone. It’s nice to get two clean sheets – I’ve obviously had a win, a loss and a draw.

"Hopefully we can start getting more wins now and move our way up the league."

The 6ft4in stopper believes the third round victory at the Cottagers last Saturday will lift the team.

"It’s a massive positive and it was good to get a win again at the weekend," he said. "There were a lot of positives we can take from that and hopefully we can get three points against Watford on Saturday."