ALEX McCarthy has praised his teammates for “defending from the front” as he prepares to go to Liverpool with three clean sheets from his last six matches.

The Saints goalkeeper has been an ever-present in the Premier League since coming back into the side after the 9-0 humbling at home to Leicester three months ago.

He had not played a Premier League match since last February before beginning a memorable 14-match run in which Saints have climbed from the relegation zone to ninth place, within three points of the top five.

The second half against Wolves apart, Saints have shown a solidity that has taken the pressure off McCarthy.

“It was a frustrating time for me at the start of the season but I got my head down, worked hard, got my chance again and managed to take it,” he said.

“The boys have put in a great shift in front of me. They’re all defending from the front and it’s nice to see everyone putting in a proper shift and getting rewarded with three points.

“Clean sheets had been few and far between so it’s been nice to pick up a few lately.

“We’ve got Ingsy up top scoring goals and everyone is pulling in the right direction.

“I feel very confident when we go out there now, whereas before I was a bit unsure, especially in the last ten to 15 minutes of games when we really don’t want to concede.

“Now we’re going into games thinking ‘we’ll beat these’.

McCarthy was speaking before the 2-0 win on his return to Crystal Palace, where he had little to do, such was Saints’ dominance.

But when called upon he has been a very reliable last form of defence.

Asked what he rates as his save of the season, he recalls the 1-0 win against Tottenham on New Year’s Day.

“Probably the one against Spurs when Harry Kane hit it and it got deflected.

“Obviously if we’d gone in at half-time at 1-1 it would have been frustrating and disappointing because we did well in that game, especially in the first half, and it gave us that little bit more confidence going into the second.

“We ended up winning and that’s a big difference in our team now; we’ve got that stability and that confidence where we can see games out.”