Mark Hughes insists the manner of his team’s performance against Manchester United proves Saints are determined to turn things around under his leadership.

Hughes has been under increasing pressure with Saints struggling for results and slipping into the bottom three.

However, displays have still been decent and, despite the disappointment of letting a two goal lead slip, a 2-2 draw with United at St Mary’s was still a decent result and the team were duly cheered from the pitch.

Hughes said: “People keep on talking about this pressure on me. Pressure comes when you don’t get the results.

“There are a lot of clubs down and around us that are underachieving, and I think the perception is that we should be doing better. Is that realistic? I don’t know because we finished 17th last year and we are in and around that area at the moment.

“We all feel we are playing better than we did last year and it’s a slow process and we can’t change overnight to be a top six club like this club has been in the past because we haven’t got that capability yet.

“We can come again and be better but at the moment people think they can raise the pressure and question my position. I understand it because I think we are better than where we are and we should be higher in the league.

“In comparison to last year are there are other clubs who did better last year and are underachieving this year? Yes, but the focus isn’t on their club, it’s on our club for whatever reason.

“I will deal with it. It’s not a problem.

“You can see by the manner of the performances and what the players are giving that everybody is fully engaged and trying to push this club to where it needs to be. I am part of that and so are my staff.”

Hughes admitted to mixed emotions after the game with his side unable to hold on to a two goal cushion.

“I suppose given we had gone into a 2-0 lead it was a little bit amiss of us to allow that to be wiped away, especially in the first half, but overall we can’t be disappointed with the performance,” he reflected.

“I thought over the 90 minutes we were the side that created more chances and had more efforts on goal.

“Clearly we need to defend those moments when United scored a lot better because that was a disappointment because we can be a lot better than we were but I thought we defended much better and in the manner we needed to second half.

“I never really thought we came under any constant or sustained pressure from Man United and I think that’s credit to us and the way we played and we were always prepared to go the other way and ask questions in the opposition half.

“Overall disappointed because we were 2-0 to the good but we can’t be disappointed with the performance. The guys gave me everything.”