Southamp­ton remain in the hunt for auto­mat­ic pro­mo­tion and they have just received a huge boost ahead of the final 10 games of the sea­son.

Rus­sell Martin‘s side sit fourth in the Cham­pi­onship, nine points adrift of Leeds Unit­ed at the sum­mit of the table with two games in hand.

Many have writ­ten of Saints’ auto­mat­ic pro­mo­tion chances but that could be some­what of a pos­i­tive thing for Mar­tin and his play­ers, as the pres­sure mounts on the three sides ahead of them.

Southamp­ton have two games in hand on Leeds and Ipswich and should they take max­i­mum points in those, they’ll be two points behind Ipswich and three off Leeds with both still to play.

Key injuries are also start­ing to return, with Ryan Fras­er now near­ing a return to action after a two-game absence.

Ryan Fraser spotted back in Southampton training

Southampton FC v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship
Pho­to by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Southamp­ton released a sneak peek of Monday’s train­ing ses­sion on their X (for­mer­ly Twit­ter) account and eagle-eyed fans have spot­ted Fras­er in the video.

It would appear the Scot­land inter­na­tion­al is now back in first-team train­ing after a peri­od on the side­lines due to a knee injury.

The 30-year-old, who is on loan from New­cas­tle Unit­ed, has enjoyed a pro­duc­tive sea­son on the South Coast and was becom­ing a tal­is­man in the weeks lead­ing up to his injury.

Fras­er has net­ted eight goals whilst lay­ing on three assists across all com­pe­ti­tions this term and his return will be a mas­sive boost head­ing into the busi­ness end of the sea­son.

Ryan Fraser can help Southampton both on and off the pitch

Southamp­ton have a pret­ty young squad and many have nev­er expe­ri­enced a pro­mo­tion race.

Mar­tin named a Saints eleven with an aver­age age of 23 years and six months old ear­li­er in the sea­son, which is one of the youngest line-ups assem­bled in the club’s his­to­ry, as per Trans­fer­markt.

As such, the need for lead­ers, par­tic­u­lar­ly as the pro­mo­tion bat­tle hots up, will be imper­a­tive and Fras­er is one of the more senior mem­bers of the chang­ing room.

The jet-heeled winger has made 344 senior appear­ances through­out his career and has two pro­mo­tions on his CV with Bournemouth.

Even if he plays a bit part role between now and the end of the cam­paign, he can still make a huge dif­fer­ence off the pitch.

Fras­er could well be depart­ing at the end of the sea­son if, of course, Saints opt against mak­ing his loan deal per­ma­nent, so he’ll be eager to leave with a pro­mo­tion medal.