SAINTS legend James Beattie wants to see Ralph Hasenhuttl sign a new contract.

Hasenhuttl took over from the sacked Mark Hughes back in December 2018 and has his current deal only runs until next summer.

The Daily Echo has previously reported that both the Austrian and the Saints hierarchy are relaxed about the situation as it’s fully expected he’ll commit to a new contract.

And Beattie reckons it makes perfect sense for the St Mary’s side to tie him down – especially at a time when managers are seen as assets.

Speaking to the Daily Echo at the launch of Swanmore College's new 3G multi-purpose pitch, Beattie said: “It would be important.

“You only need to look at Brighton. Graham had a decent start to the season and, as we’ve seen in the past, managers are assets now.

“They tie the players down to long-term contracts, so they can’t walk out of the club for free, so I think it will be prudent for the club to do the same with the manager.

“They might be in talks already I would have thought.”

If Hasenhuttl continues to impress in the St Mary’s dugout and helps his side climb the table, there’s no doubt he’ll attract interest from elsewhere.

Former boss Mauricio Pochettino did excellently on the south coast before leaving to take charge of Tottenham Hotspur.

His replacement, Ronald Koeman, also left the club after a two-year spell at St Mary’s to join Everton.

Beattie doesn’t think Saints fans would be happy to see Hasenhuttl move on – even if he takes them into Europe over the next couple of years.

Before the Austrian can think about leaving, the ex-England striker thinks it’s crucial he solidifies his status as a good manager by taking Saints as far as he can.

“A good indication of the future is the past, but I don’t think the Saints fans would be happy with that, even though it’s happened in the past,” he added.

“Ralph just needs to consolidate his position at the club now and keep trying to push the club forward.

“He’s done a great job.

“The initial impact when he first came in is exactly what happened after the Leicester game. He went back to what he knows, the high pressing with two strikers on the pitch.

“That suits the players he has.”

One of the reasons Hasenhuttl is relaxed about having just over a year left to run on his contract is because he wants to repay the club for sticking by him earlier in the season.

A dreadful start to the campaign culminated in a 9-0 home defeat to Leicester in October.

Although there were some calls for the club to part company with the Austrian, it was made abundantly clear he wouldn’t be relieved of his duties.

That moment, as awful as it was, is now viewed as a turning point in Saints’ season.

Hasenhuttl guided his side to a string of victories in November, December and January to see them climb away from immediate danger at the wrong end of the table.

“I don’t think it’s going back to basics,” responded Beattie when asked what he thinks led to the turnaround.

“The style of any team is always a reflection of the manager’s personality.

“That team now plays like Ralph would want them to and it’s a reflection of his personality.

“He must have taken stock after that Leicester result but, generally, do managers overthink things?

“It depends on the personality of the manager, but from what I’ve seen, and from managers I’ve worked for, yes.”