Having helped Fulham into the Premier League during his loan spell last season, Matt Targett has continued to show improvement this year at Southampton and speaking this week as we unclench the rears having achieved survival, the 23-year-old admitted that had manager Ralph Hasenhuttl not walked through the door – we’d have likely been preparing for life back in the Championship.
Our Academy graduate hasn’t had great game time this year, making 19 appearances in total so far, but with three assists contributed as well as opening his club goalscoring account in the Bournemouth tie, he’s played his part in easing us to survival when called upon given the injury to Ryan Bertrand.
With the bulk of his games this year coming since our Austrian manager walked through the door, Targett is well placed to talk about the effect he’s had on his own game, and we all know the players that have found a new gear under him elsewhere in the squad, whether we talk Nathan Redmond, Shane Long or even James Ward-Prowse and Yan Valery – and there are others.
Speaking this week to the Daily Echo, Targett explained.
“I don’t think so. He (Hasenhuttl) has saved our club. His impact, since he came in, has been incredible. He has worked us so hard and we have reaped the rewards of it. Every player has bought into his style of play, so it’s a credit to us and a massive credit to him. It was a fresh start. There were players before who weren’t getting a chance under Mark Hughes and the new manager brought them back into the team. They’ve all done fantastic since they came in because, when you get a new manager, it’s always a fresh start.”
There won’t be many Southampton fans who disagree with that I wouldn’t have thought.