Nigel Adkins hailed a complete performance from his team, as Saints moved out of the Premier League’s bottom three with a 2-0 win against Newcastle at St Mary’s.
Goals from Adam Lallana and Gaston Ramirez ensured a comfortable victory for the hosts, who were unlucky not to triumph by an even greater margin.
While Adkins was delighted with the verve the side displayed going forward, he was also thrilled with a first clean sheet of the campaign.
“It was good. We’ve got a 2-0 victory, a clean sheet, which is what we’ve been striving for, which was really pleasing for the whole team, especially the defenders, because they’ve worked ever so hard,” he said.
“There’s a stability in team selection at the back, which has obviously been of benefit. But we played against a top forward line in Newcastle today and we’ve marshalled them very, very well, so I’m delighted for the defenders.
“Paulo’s made a good save in goal. Jose and Maya at the centre of defence have done very well, and so has Clyney and Luke Shaw.
“It’s pleasing. We’ve got a thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory, we could have scored some more. Their goalkeeper’s made some really good saves. Jay Rodriguez’s goal, having viewed it, looks as though it was onside, although the linesman’s flagged for offside, and there’s a shout for a penalty claim as well.
“I thought some of the attacking football was really, really good, and our defensive resolve and the shape about the team was really pleasing.”