RALPH Krueger doesn’t think it makes sense for Saints to have a long-term vision due to their position in the Premier League.

The Saints chairman believes all the time they are fighting against relegation, it would be daft to look too far into the future.

Speaking at a fans’ forum hosted by the club, Krueger said: “One of the things we’ve realised is the importance of the now.

“One of the things that pulled us out of what we were doing really well was going to Europe twice as we didn’t really process it the way we needed to.

Daily Echo:

Saints chairman Ralph Krueger, fans’ forum host Paul Belverstone, Ralph Hasenhuttl and Toby Steele (Pic: Matt Watson/Southampton FC)

“We lost a little of our eye on the ball, and right now, we are working really hard as a club to refresh the Southampton Way.

“What we did five years ago is much more challenging to do today. I could sit here and tell you a fairy tale about a five-year dream, but right now, I tell you the truth.

“We are working every day to get this club back on track. That’s our focus right now. Any energy going anywhere else would be wrong. We need to make sure that we stay in the Premier League.

“It’s now that matters to us and we’ve got the manager to lead us with the football and there are board members all the way through to senior management team.

“If I told you about a five-year dream, I would be telling you something that we are unable to focus on because we are in a serious situation here.”

Krueger was also questioned about majority stakeholder, Gao Jisheng.

Gao is yet to address the supporters since buying an 80 percent stake in the club from Katharina Liebherr in August 2017.

However, Krueger defended the Chinese businessman’s decision to stay quiet.

Daily Echo:

Ralph Krueger and Saints' majority shareholder Gao Jisheng 

Saints’ chairman added: “We see in your questions that you want to know when he will speak, but I think owners in the Premier League don’t tend to be that vocal and don’t speak out.

“It shows the confidence he has in the board as he lets us communicate the messages of what we are doing football wise and business wise.”

Another point raised at the fans’ forum to Krueger was regarding Gao’s ambitions for the club.

Those in attendance were keen to hear exactly where Saints are headed under his ownership given their flirtation with relegation last season and having another scrap on their hands this campaign.

But, Krueger stressed that Gao is fully committed to Saints and has been ‘extremely supportive’ in recent times.

“It’s difficult to question the ambition of someone who purchases the majority share of a team in the Premier League,” Krueger continued.

“This is the number one league in the world and when you are getting into that game it’s a tough game to play as an owner.

“It’s a huge investment that he made and a big commitment. He purchased into what he found here, and they did their due diligence.

Daily Echo:

Gao Jisheng

“They looked deep into how we function and that we are a value first club with passionate support.

“There is a huge opportunity for growth here. We’ve had a setback in the last few years and it’s been a difficult start for him as an owner.

“We do buy and sell players, but it’s part of what makes us unique and special. We’ve done a very solid job at that.

“Not every purchase has been perfect and not every sale has been exactly the way we wanted, but in general, we have a model that many other clubs look up to and speak about.

“Mr Gao bought into that and he has been extremely supportive in these tough times.”