Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed he received a text message from Alex Ferguson that lifted his spirits after Southampton's 9-0 thrashing at the hands of Leicester City.
The Saints endured a miserable Friday night at St Mary's Stadium in October, the Foxes running riot to equal the record for the Premier League's biggest victory.
It heaped pressure on Hasenhuttl as his side slipped into the relegation zone, having taken just eight points from their first 10 games of the season.
But following that humiliating loss, in which the hosts played with 10 men from the 12th minute, there was one positive for Hasenhuttl in the form of an unexpected text message.
"I received an SMS from Alex Ferguson – I didn't know him," the Austrian told Sky Sports.
"If I had never lost 9-0 I would have never had contact with him. That was the positive thing from the result. It really helped me. It gave me a lift as I was down and was looking for something to hold onto.
"I will have to live with this result my whole life."
The Saints won the reverse fixture 2-1 in January but Hasenhuttl recognises he was only in place for that match because chief executive Martin Semmens kept faith in him.
"If I was in his [Semmens] place, I would have sacked me," he said. "We were hopeless, an absolute disaster.
"But Martin said that he knew how much I'd invested in the club. He was 100 per cent sure we'd get back to successful days. We had lost some of our direction, especially myself.
"The reaction from the team was fantastic. We made the right decisions, changed the shape. I was getting back to what made my teams strong and this gave us the belief we could turn this around.
"The last answer for what we did was the second league game against Leicester. Normally as a coach you don't have a chance to turnaround, normally it's the next manager that gets the chance, not you. I did get that chance and was very thankful."