Mark Hughes has praised Southampton’s players and fans for strengthening the connection between those on the pitch and those in the stands at St Mary’s.
The manager has overseen ten matches since his appointment in March – eight in the league – and described the club’s journey to survival as “a rollercoaster”.
Hughes admitted he was made aware of a “difficult relationship” between players and fans on arrival in the job, but has always felt the full backing of the supporters.
“It’s been a rollercoaster. We’ve been knocked down but we’ve got ourselves back up again and that’s credit to the guys,” he said.
“Maybe people are trying to accentuate my role in this a little bit more than they should do – the credit should go to the players and the fans as well.
“People were saying to me it was a difficult relationship between the players and the crowd and maybe it was damaged, but I saw no evidence of it.
“They knew we needed help and that’s how a football club should be.
“You need that. You can’t take it for granted – you need to work, to show desire and application.
“They need to see it week in, week out. If you do that and you have that connection with the crowd and your fans, clearly it’s a lot easier.”