SAINTS manager Russell Martin insisted Will Smallbone's "talent" and "flexibility" goes "under the radar" after their 5-3 win over Huddersfield.

The Republic of Ireland international was the only non-defender to play 90 minutes against the Terriers as Saints fought back twice to keep pace in the promotion race.

The Southampton academy graduate finished the game with a 95 per cent pass accuracy - from 84 passes - the most of any player to play more than 45 minutes.

He was also moved into defensive midfield after Flynn Downes was forced off injured and was Southampton's only defensive-minded midfielder when they chased a winner.

Daily Echo:

READ MORE: How Huddersfield almost ended Southampton’s unbeaten run

Smallbone has featured in all but three Championship games for Saints this season - missing their wins against Plymouth Argyle, QPR and Cardiff City.

Martin has previously outlined that he has noticed an improvement in Smallbone's "levels" since the arrival of Joe Rothwell on loan from AFC Bournemouth.

Rothwell was rightfully praised by Martin after his two goals set Saints on their comeback trail on Saturday, but the boss also used that time to explain why he thinks Smallbone is so underrated.

Speaking to the Daily Echo he revealed: "I thought Will Smallbone was also brilliant (against Huddersfield.) 

"Will is a guy who goes under the radar a lot, but I think people need to understand how flexible and talented he is.

"People need to appreciate how brave he is, how much he will run for the team and how selfless he is. Will was really brilliant."