Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed his family warned him against the risk of taking the Southampton job.
The Premier League’s first Austrian manager has dragged Saints to top-flight safety with 29 points in 21 matches, having taken the helm when they had just nine from 15.
The 51-year-old admitted he loves doing things the hard way however, relishing Saints cementing their Premier League status with Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Bournemouth.
Asked if anyone had told him taking over at St Mary’s was a risk, Hasenhuttl replied: “Yes. It was my family!
“I’ve always spoken about being a manager who wants to have this situation. I don’t know why it is like this, but the easy way is not my way.
“If you look at my history as a manager I was always going to clubs that had struggled, not in Leipzig of course because that was a different situation.
“But the other clubs had a similar situation to Southampton. So I know what that’s about, I know the first half-year is the most difficult.
“And finally if you can make it you can enjoy it much more, it’s much sweeter.”
Matt Targett headed the goal that will earn Saints as much as £100million for retaining their Premier League status.
The full-back’s debut top-flight strike also proved to be the Premier League’s 1,000th goal this season.
Callum Wilson’s brace denied Saints the victory however, with Dan Gosling also in target for the Cherries.
Shane Long and James Ward-Prowse drilled smart finishes for the hosts in a turbulent afternoon, leaving Hasenhuttl plotting for the future.
“I see us as a club that develops players from our own academy or signs players from somewhere else, and wants to improve them,” said Hasenhuttl.
“The academy doesn’t give us for every position so then we have to recruit a little.
“But first we’ll try to finish these two games with as many points as possible. Then I think we have a good plan for how we want to take things forward.”
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe believes Saints’ resurgence will be a boost for the whole south coast.
“There were a lot of tactical shifts from both teams and it was very challenging and enjoyable to coach in that game,” said Howe.
“I have a lot of respect for their manager who is doing a very good job. They are going to be a lot stronger next year. And that is good for both clubs to be honest.”