Southampton Q&A: Challenges facing Saints after securing Premier League return

Southampton beat Leeds in the Championship play-off final at Wembley to secure promotion back to the Premier League.

Russell Martin’s side, who had finished fourth in the table, can now start planning for life back in the top flight after just one season away.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the key questions ahead for the club.

So, what now?

Southampton fans welcoming the team bus with flares
Southampton fans will be hoping the club can build on their Wembley success (Steve Paston/PA)

Does the squad need a complete overhaul?

Southampton’s Adam Armstrong celebrates after scoring
Time will tell if Southampton striker Adam Armstrong can make his mark in the Premier League (Steven Paston/PA)

Is Martin the right man for the job?

It was not all plain sailing for Martin, 38, after his protracted switch from Swansea last summer. A run of four straight defeats in September left plenty of Saints fans wondering if the club’s faith had been misplaced. However, slowly but surely, former Norwich and Scotland defender Martin installed his possession-based game into the squad. A club-record 25-game unbeaten run in all competitions followed to get Southampton’s promotion push back on track. Tougher challenges await, but Martin, whose first managerial job came at MK Dons, will back himself to meet them all head on.

So should Saints fans expect anything other than a fight for survival?

Southampton fans arrive at St Mary’s
Will Southampton fans endure another miserable Premier League campaign at St Mary’s Stadium? (Robbie Stephenson/PA)

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