Dean Hammond believes Saints will flourish in the Premier League now that they have finally ignited their season.

Sunday’s 2-0 win against Newcastle made it back-to-back victories for the top-flight newcomers and moved them out of the relegation zone.

Hammond, who is on a season-long loan at Brighton, was thrilled to see his St Mary’s teammates start heading in the right direction.

“I have seen the highlights against Newcastle and spoken to a couple of the lads,” he said.

“They were fantastic and that is what they can produce. They have got a really good team with really good players.

flourish “I think like any promoted team going up they just needed to maybe adapt to the league and they are doing that now. I think with time they will really flourish.”

Hammond is under contract at Saints until 2014, but admitted he opted to leave on loan in August as he saw little future at the club. The 29-year-old is, however, hoping to make it back into the top flight with the Seagulls.

“I played a lot of games at Southampton in the previous two seasons when we got promoted,” he said.

“I captained the team and went back pre-season with excitement to try and get into the team to play in the Premier League.

“Unfortunately it didn’t happen. They invested a lot. Competition for places at the club was always high and I kind of realised during pre-season that I wasn’t involved in as many games as I thought I would be.

“I made a conscious decision. I spoke to the manager and chairman and we had a conversation about things.

“I obviously wasn’t going to be involved as much as I would like and I just asked if I could go out and play football.

“It was a difficult decision, because you always want to try to play in the Premier League and test yourself at that level.

“I want to play and when I knew Brighton were interested I jumped at the chance. It’s a great club and we’ve got a great chance of doing something this season.”