Mauricio Pochettino is delighted that Saints are hitting form again after coming through the other side of their injury nightmares.

Saints endured a miserable run of injuries and suspensions as their early season form fell apart with just one win in nine league games rooting them into upper midtable.

Since they have got players back they have steadily improved and are now only missing Gaston Ramirez and Dejan Lovren from their squad.

Results have followed, with a five-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

The latest victory came away to Fulham as Saints scored three times in 11 second half minutes to blow away their opponents and leave them bottom of the Premier League table.

“I think in that period we had quite a few injuries and players banned,” said Pochettino of the club’s previous poor run.

“We are a very young team and don’t have that many players within the team because that’s how we want it.

“In a competition that’s already months old it’s normal that you will have ups and downs.

“We haven’t forgotten the philosophy or the style of football we want to play, even if there have been ups and downs in that time, and that’s been very important for us.”

Saints were indebted to goalkeeper Artur Boruc for making a couple of excellent first half saves to ensure they went into the break level, but there was nothing Fulham could do to stop an onslaught in the second period.

“I think in the first half we were a bit mistaken about our set-up,” admitted Pochettino.

“We knew Fulham were going to be defending deep and would be wanting to close down the spaces for us and that they were going to be trying to go on the counter attack. In the second half we corrected certain positions such as Rickie, Adam and Jay’s positions on the pitch and allowed us to get the goal that opened up the game for us and control the game overall.”

The game also saw a 100th Saints league goal for Rickie Lambert, and Pochettino commented: “I think that Rickie for Southampton is a great player, a vital player, a very important player for Southampton.

“What I know is that when Rickie arrived in League One with Southampton he had never played in the Premier League or the Championship.

“I think that Rickie Lambert is very important for Southampton and Southampton is also very important for Rickie Lambert.”