DAN PETRESCU is adamant he got the final touch which gave Saints a hard-earned 1-0 win over Leicester at The Dell.

The Romanian, making his first start since joining from Bradford, was credited with the only goal of the Premiership clash as he leaped in on a swinging free-kick by Wayne Bridge.

Television replays failed to show whether Petrescu made contact with his head in a crowded goalmouth.

But after consistently getting on the end of free-kicks in training before the game, he was delighted to maintain his knack of being in the right place at the right time.

He said: "There was just enough of a touch with my head to get the goal - and the three points which were the most important of all.

"To be fair, I did not know much about it. I was in the middle of two Leicester defenders.

"It was funny because in training yesterday morning it seemed every ball into the box would drop for me and I thought I might have a chance to score in the game.

"I could've got one in the first half and we knew there would not be many chances so it was important to take any that came along. It's very tough to score against Leicester.

"I was delighted to see it go in and it does not matter who scored. The only thing that matters is we won.

"I felt tired at the end as it was the longest I had played for some time, but it could not have gone much better for my first start."

Petrescu was left nursing a slight calf strain while Kevin Davies turned an ankle in a tackle which meant he failed to re-appear for the second half and Claus Lundekvam tweaked a hamstring.

Manager Glenn Hoddle said: "It is too early to tell about any of them for Sunday's game at Newcastle but the extra 24 hours will help us."

He was delighted not only to put one over on his close pal Peter Taylor but also with the manner of the victory.

Hoddle said: "They call themselves The Grinders, but we ground out a result ourselves and I'm delighted because I think we were worth it.

"But it was a great win for us and one which puts us nearer that mid-table bracket we are aiming for."

Taylor was unhappy at the award of the free-kick which led to the winner, claiming Callum Davidson was wrongly called for a foul on James Beattie.

He said: "The referee did not give it, his assistant did. And yet the ref was as close as he was. Callum clearly got the ball - it was a very poor decision.

"I'm disappointed because I felt we played very well and I am amazed we lost a very tight game.

"That make it honours even with Glenn for the season - let's have a decider in the FA Cup final!"