SAINTS goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu was happy to help put "a different spin" on last week's narrative by recording back-to-back clean sheets.

The St Mary's side were left frustrated after a visit to struggling Huddersfield Town only produced a 1-1 draw, with manager Russell Martin seething.

However, Republic of Ireland international Bazunu kept consecutive clean sheets for the first time this season in 1-0 and 2-0 home wins over Bristol City and Cardiff City.

It meant Saints had recorded another seven-point week during the hectic Championship schedule, keeping within eight points of the automatic promotion places.

Speaking to the Daily Echo after Saturday's clash with Cardiff, Bazunu insisted: "We were disappointed after Huddersfield but have come back with two good home performances.

Daily Echo: Bazunu was key to Southampton's clean sheet against Bristol City on WednesdayBazunu was key to Southampton's clean sheet against Bristol City on Wednesday

"To come out with seven points has put a different spin on the week. The run has been brilliant for us. Within that run, you can see the improvement in the team.

"We are gaining more control in the games. There are a few games where we scored late or we had narrow victories," he added.

"On Wednesday it was only by one and Saturday it was by two but anyone watching the games would have seen it could have been a lot more."

Saints are 11 without defeat in the league and it is defensive solidity that has been integral, having now recorded four clean sheets after none in the first nine. 

Bazunu himself has seen significant growth in performance, despite Saints still having recorded the lowest save percentage (61.2) in the division. 

You could only argue a handful of the goals earlier in the season were a result of a Bazunu mistake, while he has swept with considerable proficiency under Martin.

Only Leicester City's Mads Hermansen has a higher average line of engagement than Bazunu, 21, whose typical defensive action is 18.9 yards from his goalline. 

Bazunu exhibited a perfect example on Saturday, wiping out former Reading forward Yakou Meite as he beat the Ivorian to a dangerous long ball just ahead of half-time. 

"I was just waiting for the ball to bounce (when Meite ran through) to see where his touch was going to go," Bazunu explained.

Daily Echo: Russell Martin was forced to defend Bazunu after a slow start to the Championship seasonRussell Martin was forced to defend Bazunu after a slow start to the Championship season (Image: Stuart Martin)

"That's my job when playing in this team, I have to be so ready and aggressive to sweep up at any moment.

"I wouldn't say I practice it but I think when it comes down to that, it is just bravery and timing. They are the two things needed in those situations."

He continued: "It's easy for me to stay switched on. Staying switched on mentally is the easiest part.

"I'm involved in so many aspects of the game with the ball at my feet so I need to be switched on for either a sweeping-up action, distribution, or making a save." 

Bazunu remains a key part of Martin's plans after the manager vehemently defended the youngster when he came under criticism at the start of the campaign.

The boss sees him as integral to achieving the club's goals this season and Bazunu is not shy in repeating those goals.

He commanded: "There is no hiding exactly what we want to do. We want to get back to the Premier League as soon as possible and that is this season. Everyone has the same goal."