Jack Cork, Kelvin Davis and Steven Davis have lined up to praise new Saints manager Ronald Koeman and his staff after working with them for the first time this week.
The trio all declared their respect for the Dutchman’s great pedigree in football but there was also praise for the immediate warmth and approachability shown by Koeman’s staff since Monday’s first training session under the new regime.
Cork has been filled with excitement ahead of the upcoming season and is eager to place his faith in and learn from a manager equipped with years of experience at a high level.
“He came in and introduced himself and all the players warmed to him immediately,” the midfielder said of his first meeting with Koeman. “We all came out of the meeting and said how excited we are and how fresh we feel for pre-season.
“Not only the manager but the staff he brought with him have all come and joined in straight away. All the lads have warmed to him.
“They all seem really good. They all know what they’re talking about and hopefully they can help progress this club and take it forward in the way we want to keep going.
“It’s brilliant to have a manager who’s played at such a high level, done so well at that level and won so much. He’s also got a great record as a manager so it’s great to have someone like that overseeing us.
“When you have someone who is less experienced and hasn’t done so much, he can say stuff and you don’t really want to believe it but I know when he (Koeman) is going to say stuff to help us and give us advice that it’s going to be stuff that is going to mean a lot. It can help improve us because it’s come from such an experienced man who’s won so much in the game.”
Club captain Davis has been encouraged by the leadership shown by the recently-installed boss as everyone works towards the aim of building on the 2013/14 campaign.
The 37-year-old added: “He’s let everyone know to just follow on and to try and improve on what we’ve done last year and I think the rest will take care of itself. He’s a football man and from what he’s achieved in football he obviously wants to bring that here.
“They’re very communicative, very encouraging and it was just nice and light as we were getting used to working with them as I’m sure they were getting used to working with us.”
Meanwhile, Steven Davis is keen to see what methods Koeman and his staff may have garnered while at past clubs in different countries and how such a style will be employed at St Mary’s.
The Northern Irishman said: “They’ve got a great background from previous clubs they’ve been at across Europe, they’ll bring a lot of experience to the management side and I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with them.”