JOS Hooiveld has warned against complacency after Saints moved five points clear at the top of the Championship.

The defender netted the second goal in a 2-0 win at the KC Stadium that strengthened the club’s grip on first place in the division.

But despite taking another big step towards the Premier League, Hooiveld has insisted that the fight is a long way from being over.

“Always when you’re top it’s favourable,” said the centre half.

“But I remember West Ham were five points on top and they were in a very favourable position, so everything can happen.

“It’s such a weird league. The bottom teams beat the first three and it goes on and on like that.

“I’m experienced enough not to get carried away. There’s eight games and 24 points left.

“It’s a long way to go.

“Eight games, if we now have a bad spell, we could drop three or four places, it’s so close.

“It’s just nice to be on top, that’s where everybody wants to be.”

Hooiveld netted his sixth goal of the season when he diverted in Jose Fonte’s shot at close range early in the second half.

It was the fifth time this campaign that the Dutchman has scored in a midweek fixture.

“It was a free kick, first it was headed away then Jack Cork landed on the ball and he handed it back and it was a great touch from Jose,” he said.

“I think he wanted to shoot it, and he shot it.

“It would have gone in front of the goal, but I came to the rescue and had a little tap in.

“I am very pleased with it.

Sometimes you have to have that little bit of luck that you run in and the ball just comes there.”

Hooiveld added: “It’s a very difficult place to go I think, a difficult pitch, you see the rugby lines are still on it.

“We then win 2-0 and keep a clean sheet. That’s very important at this stage.

“They came out quite strong as well, but luckily we countered them two times quite dangerously, so they calmed it down a bit.

“We scored at the right moment. It was an own goal, but otherwise Rickie would have buried it.”