Ronald Koeman has labelled his side's 2-1 win away at Stoke City today as a "huge result".
Both Southampton and Stoke are among the group of teams fighting for Europa League qualification and Saints edged past the Potters in the table today thanks to a Graziano Pelle brace. Koeman emphasised the importance of the game in defining the rest of the season.
Koeman said: "It’s a huge result. We spoke to the players before the game, today and next Saturday against Liverpool, that’s very important because that will mark the rest of the season. With three points today, I think we make a big step for our ambition."
But it wasn't just the result that pleased Koeman. The Saints boss was also impressed with his side's performance, stating that Southampton fully deserved the victory.
"They really fight for everything today. From the start the better team, the better chances in the game.
"We know we can play good football but it’s a very difficult place to come and if you dominated like we did in the first half, then it’s fantastic."
Koeman was also full of praise for Graziano Pelle. The Italian was without a goal in his previous 12 league games but hit the target twice in the first half to claim the three points for the Saints.
"The whole individual performance from Graziano was amazing today. He was strong, he was winning battles and scoring and that is what you expect.
"You need personality for that [to end a goal drought]. Graziano was struggling with some knee problems. If he realises what he did today to score and to fight for the team, he will score more goals."
Koeman's Saints now sit in seventh place just three points off of Manchester United but teams around Southampton still have games in hand.