ADAM Lallana thanked Saints fans for keeping the faith after scoring the winning goal.

The playmaker was Saints’ most potent attacking threat for long periods and he proved to be the difference when he netted the 66th-minute winner.

He reckons the support from most of the 28,610 in attendance was also a big factor in the capture of the three points. “They stuck with us which gives you a bit more patience and that belief and confidence and calmness you have to show when a good team like West Brom comes for the draw, playing on the counter attack like they did,” he said.

“Credit to us, it was a big win and gave us a massive boost in confidence going into the next lot of fixtures.”

Lallana’s goal from Gaston Ramirez’s exquisite first-time pass ensured a first win in five league games at St Mary’s and only Saints’ second in their last ten.

“We’ve had a bit of a tough patch and it was especially important to get the win here at St Mary’s,” continued Lallana. “We like it to be a fortress and we’ve slipped up a few too many times of late, I feel.”

Lallana believes Saints are stronger for their experiences of the last month. “It was nice to have a whole week going into the game after having a game every few days over the Christmas period,” he said. “The top teams are prepared for that and used to it from playing Champions League football, they have the squad to rotate. “Unfortunately we picked up a few injuries at a crucial time and maybe the amount of games we had took its toll. “But we’ll learn from this going into next season, we’re forever learning. “We had a meeting at the beginning of the week to discuss how we felt the first half of the season had gone and how we’re going to pick up and go again.

“I thought it showed today, we had that extra spark back.

“We knew we had to be patient. It was one of those games where we knew we’d get a chance, it was just whether we could take one. “It was a great ball by Gaston when he came on, he made a bit of a difference, and a great save by Artur at the end. “I’m delighted for the whole squad, the coaching staff and mostly the players because it’s well deserved.”