MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 29: Brett Ratten, Assistant Coach of the Saints (centre) and Alan Richardson, Senior Coach of the Saints (right) share a laugh during a St Kilda Saints AFL training session at RSEA Park on November 29, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Brett Ratten has already had an impact at St Kilda according to former Saints star Nick Dal Santo.

The former Hawthorn assistant joined the club to provide support for under threat coach, Alan Richardson.

“You need all the support you can get when you’re a coach when you’ve got a young group, you’ve taken a step backwards in regards to the win/loss last year, people are looking at you to see what your brand of football is and how do we identify with St Kilda,” Dal Santo told SEN Breakfast.

“The playing group respect him. Alan Richardson went overseas to America and Brett Ratten takes the reins along with Brendon Lade. I’m happy with what I’ve heard from the playing group about those two coaches in particular.”

The Saints will be looking to improve on their 2018 season this campaign, after winning just four games last season.

They’ll open 2019 at home to Gold Coast, before face Essendon (A), Fremantle (A) and Hawthorn (H).