Nigel Adkins insisted Saints’ 3-3 draw with Stoke is proof his team have adapted to life in the Premier League.
There were few hopes for a Saints victory before their game at the Britannia Stadium with the Potters undefeated at home in the league this season.
Stoke had only conceded four home goals in nine games – the best home defensive record in any of the top leagues in Europe.
But Saints changed their team to deal with the hosts’ physical threat, and scored three goals in the first half.
They might have had more, and in the end were only denied a memorable victory by a stunning 90th minute equaliser from Cameron Jerome.
“It just shows how far we’ve come,” reflected Adkins.
“We do play some good football but this was a different mindset and a different mentality, but we’re coming away with something which is important.
“The players have shown another side to their game which is really important.
“There’s a lot of positives to take from the game.
“We knew we had to weather the storm and that was the case in the last half hour of the game when the ball was coming forward from a relentless situation.”
Adkins was refusing to let the fact that Saints let a 3-1 lead slip, and failed to see it out at 3-2 with Stoke down to ten men, dampen his enthusiasm.
“It’s a fantastic point away from home,” he said.
“Stoke had only conceded four goals at home this season and we’ve scored three and could have scored more.
“It’s always a difficult place to come to, our supporters were great and first half it was only us you could hear because our game management was spot on.
“We changed a few of the players around because we knew we’d have to deal with an aerial bombardment that would probably come.
“The players have been top drawer. We scored some really good goals.
“We knew at a period of time Stoke would get plenty of balls into the area.
“You look at the size of the team they finished with was really big, and the players have had to defend manfully.
“At the end of the day it’s a wonder strike from the lad to get Stoke City an equaliser.
“The turning point is that probably we could have scored a fourth one, but great credit to the players.
“It’s a great point away from home and the players have gone and demonstrated another side to their game.
“We do pass the ball about and play, and this was another aspect and mentality.
“It’s two away games we’re undefeated and there’s a lot of positives to take.”