MATT Targett labelled Ralph Hasenhuttl as “perfect” ahead of tonight’s FA Cup tie with Derby County.

Targett has flourished under the Austrian’s management after making the most of Ryan Bertrand’s absence through injury.

The 23-year-old left back has only missed the Chelsea game under Hasenhuttl’s tenure in charge and hailed the impact he’s made in such a short space of time.

Daily Echo:

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl

Targett said: “He sets us up well and it is nice when we have a full week of training. 

“He is putting a lot of ideas in our head about defending with, and without, the ball. It’s nice to have a full week of training leading into a game.

“He is a big presence, and to be fair, he has come in and set his demands straight away from all of us about what he wants. 

“He is very demanding, which is perfect because it’s exactly what we need.”

Targett is expected to continue his role in Saints’ first team for the foreseeable future as Bertrand continues to recover form a minor back operation he underwent last month.

Hasenhuttl confirmed that the England international is back in training, but added he is still a long way off full fitness.

Daily Echo:

Shane Long celebrates his winner against Leicester

Another player who took his chance in the absence of others was Shane Long.

Long netted the winner against Leicester to ensure Saints moved out of the relegation zone after Hasenhuttl challenged to do just that with Danny Ings, Michael Obafemi and Charlie Austin missing.

The goal meant the Republic of Ireland international’s last four goals for the St Mary’s side have come under four different managers. 

Despite this, Targett insisted that Long influences the team in more than one way.

“I’m delighted for him, he works so hard for the team. When he gets on the scoresheet, everyone is so happy for him. 

“He does a lot of finishing drills in training and he got his reward. 

“He always puts in a great shift and he is such a handful for defenders, he never gives up and doesn’t give them time to rest. He is such a handful.”

Daily Echo:

Matt Targett [left]

After Derby, Saints have a run on winnable fixtures coming up, starting with Everton on Saturday. 

And Targett is keen to ensure the momentum gained from Leicester continues tonight and then in the upcoming matches.

He added: “I think you have to look at the run of games we have now got, and we can take this as a step and build on it for Everton.”