Cedric Soares claims the new Southampton manager Claude Puel is closer to the players than his predecessor Ronald Koeman.
The Portugal international full-back, who is still celebrating success with his country in Euro 2016 this summer, was given an extended break along with team-mate and fellow compatriot Jose Fonte.
In his absence Frenchman Puel was drafted in to replace Koeman, who departed to take over Premier League rivals Everton at the end of last season.
Soares has been back at St Mary’s for a couple of weeks and has been quick to praise the relationship that the new man at the helm has formed with the squad.
When asked how Puel compares to Koeman, he said: “Different and with another kind of leadership, closer to the players.”
Meanwhile, Soares is looking forward to going up against Portuguese tactician Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United at Old Trafford on Friday night.
On his relationship with Mourinho, he added to Record: “Friends, friends, business aside, isn’t it? It applies very well in this case. Jose Mourinho is one of the best coaches in the world and has already shown it several times. I wish him all the best always, but both me and Jose Fonte will fight for victory. We will always be supporting Southampton.”