Marco Silva has challenged Hull to build their future around star centre-back Harry Maguire.
The 24-year-old's man of the match turn at Southampton helped secure a priceless point in the battle to beat the Premier League drop.
Eldin Jakupovic's penalty save ensured a goalless draw at St Mary's on Saturday, helping to confirm Sunderland's top-flight relegation.
Maguire again caught the eye however, leading boss Silva to admit Hull must fight to retain his services and shape their team around the in-demand defender.
"Of course it's important," said Silva, when asked if Maguire should play a pivotal role in Hull's future.
"He is a young player as well, and it's important for Hull to keep these kinds of players.
"There have been no offers for the player, so I don't want to talk too much about his position.
"I want to talk about the players keeping focused on our goal and to keep going until the end of the season."
Jakupovic's added-time save from Dusan Tadic's penalty leaves Hull still able to control their Premier League fate, with the 32-year-old goalkeeper admitting Saturday's spot-kick heroics might prove the most important of his career.
"I've saved a lot of penalties in my career but this is for sure one of the main penalties, "said Jakupovic.
"Before the game I did my homework (on Tadic's penalties) with my goalkeeping coach.
"But to be fair I saw his four or five last penalties and he never finished like that.
"Finally, finally I had to make the decision. My feeling, my stomach told me to go this side.
"When the referee gave the penalty I said to myself 'come on now, you have to help the team again'. I spoke with myself 'come on', and finally I did it.
"You have to be lucky as well because it was a very good penalty. It was a mix of luck with feelings and finally we took the point."