Ralph Hasenhuttl hailed an important point at Watford as Saints moved ever nearer to mathematical safety – and urged his team to finish the job against Bournemouth on Saturday.

Though Saints conceded a late goal to be denied three points at Vicarage Road, the draw moved them six clear of third bottom Cardiff with three games remaining and a superior goal difference.

It might have been a different story had Saints managed to take one of their other first half opportunities or had a little more luck having struck the post twice.

But even so Hasenhuttl was a satisfied man.

He said: “I think we missed in the first half to go higher in the lead because we had a lot of chances and we were a little bit unlucky with two times on the post.

“Always good ball wins, good transition forward, brave with the ball, good balance and good management, not too much risk in the centre, but if we had the ball then we played fantastic football I think.

“We missed the moments to be higher in the lead and that was the only problem we had in the first half I think.

“Second half it was clear that they try everything to get an equaliser and the pressure was massive in the last ten minutes and also the overtime.

“We had a few good counter attacks in the second half also but didn’t score and at the end it was a pity they got the equaliser but for us it was more positive than negative because to take a point here is not so easy.

“This is a very important point because now we are six points ahead of Cardiff and three points ahead of Brighton and we have a home game against Bournemouth where we want to make the last step.

“It will be fantastic if we are safe two games from the end. When I was coming if you told me we had the chance to make it clear against Bournemouth I would take it for sure.

“Now let’s have a look.”

Though Saints look safe now, Hasenhuttl is unwilling to take anything for granted and wants the job done at St Mary’s this weekend.

“We were talking about 40 points and now we have 37 and before we don’t have the 40 points we don’t talk about being safe,” he insisted.

“That is the reason why we are focussed for the last game of this week.

“It was an important point for us because we said we must take four points in the next two games and now it’s a home game against Bournemouth.

“I cannot imagine something more beautiful than to make the last step in front of our crowd.

“That is what we are looking forward to.”