Nigel Adkins was staying calm as Saints took another step towards the Premier League with victory over Crystal Palace.

A brace from Rickie Lambert took his tally for the campaign to 30 and ensured Saints remained comfortably ensconced within the top two.

Adkins said: “All the players are valuable to us and Rickie Lambert has 30 now.

“The first goal we scored I was delighted with because it is something we’d talked about and we’d worked on.

“We wanted to change the play and from the throw in we changed it, we got Danny Butterfield in a good position and he’s got good crossing ability.

“We thought if we got Rickie against the small full back Clyne at the far post we’d have a little bit of joy and we did so we were pleased with that goal.”

Speaking of the 6,000 Saints supporters who cheered on the team at Selhurst Park he added: “The supporters were great.

“We were on the bus coming in and they were outside the pubs singing and it put the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. It was brilliant.”