MANAGER Russell Martin admitted Saints joked about being fourth in the Championship despite their unbeaten run ahead of a 2-0 win at Rotherham.

The result at New York Stadium meant Martin's side climbed to second in the table as Ipswich Town were beaten 3-2 by Preston.

Saints have now gone 21 league games without the feeling of defeat thanks to Jan Bednarek and Adam Armstrong goals in south Yorkshire. 

Martin insists the focus remains purely on Saints, who have picked up 22 points from the last eight Championship matches. 

Speaking to the Daily Echo after the match, Martin said: "We had a joke about it this morning at the breakfast table that we were 20 games unbeaten and fourth in the table. 

Daily Echo: Russell Martin and Ryan Fraser celebrate 23 matches unbeaten in all competitionsRussell Martin and Ryan Fraser celebrate 23 matches unbeaten in all competitions (Image: PA)

"It shows you the competition this year, the level has been outstanding. Four teams have done amazing things never been seen in the Championship.

"It's exciting to be involved in and you either see it as an opportunity or something to back away from and the lads are head-on and enjoying it."

Martin added: "I really enjoyed the performance today on a really tough pitch.

"To have the control we did and the big chances, their goalkeeper made some brilliant saves and we should have scored a couple more goals.

"We limited them to very little and the players looked after each other very well with the ball today on a really difficult pitch.

"The level of care, detail and love they showed for each other on the ball meant they looked after each other amazing.

"They fought so hard and ran so hard out of possession. They dealt with some direct balls from the goalkeeper and set-pieces. 

"Rotherham have had some really good results and performances against top teams, especially here, so I am really proud of the players to show both sides of the game."

Saints are one point clear of Leeds United in third but have a game in hand over the Whites after Daniel Farke's side played during the FA Cup break. 

Kieren McKenna's Ipswich find themselves two points behind Saints while Leicester City are nine points clear at the top having played one more. 

It means Saints could be just six points off the summit if they win their game in hand, with 19 matches still to come in total.

However, Martin is not concerned if his side can catch the Foxes, saying: "I don't even know what team I am going to pick on Tuesday yet so I don't look very far ahead.

"If the players keep showing the hunger and humility they are showing to play football in a certain way then hopefully we can keep enjoying this feeling.

"It will take us where we want to get to but outside of that I don't really have any control on what the other teams are going to do.

"We will focus on ourselves and keep learning as much as we possibly can and then see where we end up."