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Five reasons to feel positive after Southampton's wins over Swansea and MK Dons

Southampton's 3-1 win over Swansea was as impressive as it was professional. Here are five things to take from Saturday's performance as well as the midweek demolition of MK Dons.

Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Early Premier League high-flyers Swansea were soundly beaten by a resurgent Southampton side on Saturday.

This was particularly pleasing given Saints' slow start to the 2015-16 Premier League campaign. Ronald Koeman's men performed brilliantly and fully justified the 3-1 scoreline in favour of their team.

Before that, Southampton dominated proceedings to smash MK Dons 6-0 away from home in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

Upon reflection, this was a really important week for the Saints. Here is five positives to take away from their two impressive performances in the week.

Southampton looked clinical in front of goal

Yes, you read that right. Southampton really hit a groove early on in both games and managed to maintain that positive approach against their opponents - something sorely lacking in last week's unfortunate defeat to Manchester United.

Saints typically start games well but tend to fade as the game unfolds. Granted, Swansea are whole different proposition to a MK Dons side languishing in the Championship relegations zone. But, Virgil van Dijk managed to open the scoring ten minutes into the game against the Swans and Southampton's attacking pressure did not relent.

Using the League Cup for positive gain

I don't care what the managers nor fans of the "bigger clubs" say about the League Cup: it's a great competition.

Not only does it grant the opportunity for a potential cup final appearance at Wembley, the competition also provides plenty of other useful upside. It looks like Koeman will utilise the Capital One Cup in a similar fashion to that of last year: use it for some positive momentum in the league.

Southampton's 6-0 cup victory over MK Dons was not a challenging contest by any stretch of the imagination. It was the definition of a rout. However, it is no coincidence that Saturday's clinical nature of our team's finishing echoed that of Wednesday night.

Who recalls the competition last year? The 2-0 win away at Millwall really galvanised the side and led to the 3-1 win away at West Ham after that, before Saints went on an impressive run which saw them vying for a place in the top four of the Premier League.

The return of Ryan Bertrand

The Southampton backline looks infinitely more solid with Ryan Bertrand returning from injury.

While Matt Targett was thrown to the wolves somewhat in trying to become Saints' new Luke Shaw in Bertrand's absence, he did an OK job but was found wanting on more than one occasion.

Bertrand put in a solid 30 minuted against MK Dons after his knee injury and started on Saturday against the Swans - helping keep the likes of Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre Ayew quiet. A real positive for the club.

The Swansea win was incredibly important just seven games into the season

Swansea are one of the few teams who can stake a claim in being similarly run to Southampton and it will be a tight finish between the two sides come the end of the season.

Last season the two clubs traded 1-0 away wins as Southampton finished seventh in the league to Swansea's eighth.

An early win against their league rivals really boosts Saints' confidence and dents that of Swansea in one fell swoop. Oh and it means the two sides are equal on nine points in the Premier League.

Virgil van Dijk looks a solid Toby Alderweireld replacement

Not only did the giant Dutchman score, but he looked a calm presence alongside Saints captain Jose Fonte - following in the footsteps of Dejan Lovren and Alderweireld in the seasons previous. Hopefully van Dijk sticks around a bit longer than those two, though.

Van Dijk's defensive abilities look solid, but his attacking prowess could also prove very useful as the season trundles along. Virgil's set pieces already look far more convincing than James Ward-Prowse's.

One thing us fans should work on is getting this song going across the Northam, Kingsland and Itchen stands: