Ronald Koeman’s Saints squad are hoping to take the Premier League by storm this season, with the help of Solent University.

Staff and students in the sports science department have been working alongside the club’s experts to analyse the players’ fitness, making sure they are in optimal condition for the new campaign.

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The series of tests included the dreaded VO2 Max, where players are pushed to their limit while wearing facemasks to monitor how much oxygen their bodies are using, and having blood samples taken during their treadmill run.

The information gathered is used to help generate individual fitness profiles for the whole squad and tailor their training.

Solent is the official university partner of Saints, working together to identify joint research projects in the areas of strength conditioning, exercise physiology and nutrition, while the club also offer student work placement and employment opportunities.

Professor Stewart Bruce-Low, head of sport and exercise science, said: “Staff and students enjoy using their skills and our BASES accredited laboratories and equipment to help analyse and assess professional athletes of this calibre.

“Managers, coaches and players now recognise the need to use sport science to obtain optimal individual performances and to increase the squad’s competitive edge.

“Undertaking work experience of this calibre gives our students the edge when it comes to starting their careers.

“Many of our graduates are already playing key roles at some of the top sporting clubs in the country.”

The university’s physiology laboratory has been recognised as one of the UK’s leading sport and exercise science facilities, joining an elite group that includes Manchester United Football Club.

It has been officially awarded accreditation by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), which is widely recognised as the leading UK professional body in sport and exercise sciences.