NIGEL Adkins hailed the impact of almost 6,000 Saints fans who roared the team to within touching distance of the Premier League at Selhurst Park.

Rickie Lambert’s brace earned Saints a deserved 2-0 win and put the pressure well and truly back on the shoulders of automatic promotion rivals Reading and West Ham.

After the game though there was only one topic on Adkins’ mind and that was the incredible support the team received which he felt helped lift them to victory.

“The supporters were great,” he beamed. “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. The lads were up. You don’t realise guys what a fantastic job you’re doing because you don’t need a team talk because they are there and ready.

“It was great composure from the players and we went out and got two goals. We knew they would be a threat because they’ve got some talented young players, but we’ve gone and scored two and Jose (Fonte) should have scored a third to seal the game for us.

“We saw the game out and I’m pleased with the three points, pleased with the clean sheet and we’ve composed our way through the game.”

The scenes at Palace were not quite the same as famous ‘Dellhurst Park’ game when the ground was virtually filled with Saints fans.

On that occasion in 1999 they were up against Wimbledon, who had a sparse enough following to make that possible, whereas Palace fans were in three sides of the ground yesterday.

However, Saints supporters filled almost an entire side and gave their team fantastic support.

“With that fantastic following we had it was unbelievable,” added Adkins. “The lads are working hard to give them something to cheer about and the atmosphere they generate transmits on to the players and drives them on.”