There will be no let-up from Ralph Hasenhuttl as he prepares his team for a crucial set of fixtures.

Back-to-back Premier League wins against Leicester and Everton have made a huge difference to not only the table but the mood at St Mary’s.

There is a growing sense of optimism that Saints can produce the run of results needed to lift themselves well away from trouble and prevent another nervy end to the campaign.

Up next is a hat-trick of fixtures against relegation rivals with Crystal Palace and Cardiff visiting St Mary’s and a trip to Burnley sandwiched in-between.

After their FA Cup exit Saints have a fixture free weekend coming up – but that doesn’t mean the players will be kicking their heels.

Hasenhuttl will bookend this week with some recovery time for his stars, but they will be at Staplewood on Saturday and Sunday as part of a five-day run-in to the Palace game.

“We have a good balance between having days off and then getting sharp for the next game,” said Hasenhuttl. “I am sure we find the right balance.

“They know we try to get a good mixture of hard training sessions but also in recovery to be sharp when the next game comes.

“Until now we find a good balance and we have to also in the next weeks or months.

“It’s now a little bit of time to be happy about the two wins in a row and back-to-back wins and then stay hungry and go for the next.”

With so little time to work on the training ground since his appointment, Hasenhuttl has had to rely on a lot of video analysis to help his team.

But this window of opportunity presents a real chance for more practical training sessions to take place.

“It is no pre-season we can work in, it is very much video and watching,” he reflected of his time so far.

“We did it a huge time, and from Wednesday to Saturday when you can’t train the video session is the main part to get prepared, show them where we have deficits.

“It’s really interesting and I am glad it seems they know exactly what to do in the next game.

“They showed they learn out of mistakes, they make it once and not twice, and that gives me a lot of hope we can build a better performance.”

Whatever Hasenhuttl has been doing has certainly had a significant impact, but he is not shocked by the response of his players.

“It’s not surprising because I see these open-minded guys and I know they have the willingness to learn I feel every day,” said the Saints boss.

“I am very happy for them that they see with this kind of playing football and hard working training sessions they get better every day.

“It’s fantastic for them and fantastic for me as a manager.”