SAINTS boss Nigel Adkins hailed an “exhilarating” display from club-record signing Gaston Ramirez in the 2-0 win over Newcastle.

The £12m forward, who moved to St Mary’s from Serie A side Bologna in the summer, set up Adam Lallana’s opener before sealing the victory with his side’s second goal of the afternoon at St Mary’s.

Ramirez is yet to enjoy a prolonged run in the team, having only arrived at the club at the very end of August, with his transfer going through on deadline day, and missing over four weeks with a leg injury.

He returned earlier this month, though, and is beginning to display the full range of his abilities.

“Obviously you’ve got to get used to it all,” said Adkins of the transition the Uruguay international is having to make.

“Gaston missed the start of the season as it was before he signed and then he got injured.

“He hasn’t lasted the full game [Adkins substituted him in the 78th minute], but when he was on the field of play he was exhilarating.”

Adkins certainly appears to have struck upon a potent attacking blend, with Ramirez, Lallana and Jason Puncheon playing behind striker Rickie Lambert.

“You’ve got Adam Lallana, Gaston Ramirez, Jason Puncheon and Rickie Lambert there,” he said.

“They all contribute in a massive way and they’re exciting. They get supporters off their seat, there’s a flair about them, a fluidity of movement and there’s goals about them.

“Some of the attacking football was really, really good.”

Saints once again fielded a youthful team, and Adkins believes the energy his players possess is really helping performances.

“We’re a young side, but we’re a fit side,” he said.

“We talk about Morgan Schneiderlin and Jack Cork in the middle of the park, again they’ve got that solid base, but they can go and pass the ball and move the ball around, so all in all it’s a really pleasing victory."