Every word Saints manager Russell Martin said after his side secured promotion back to the Premier League with victory over Leeds United... 

How do you feel about becoming a Premier League club again?

RM: Yeah, I just feel really grateful. I felt that all week really. Just felt loads of gratitude about what the players have given us, the staff, the supporters. 

I feel immense pride in what we've achieved, but I just feel grateful. The owners for giving me the opportunity in the first place.

Jason Wilcox too, who had a good day himself yesterday and is no longer here, but I feel like it wasn't a sexy appointment for Southampton Football Club, me coming in. 

They were brave enough to give me the opportunity and hopefully, we have repaid them with a day that they'll remember forever.

It's given me one of the best days of my career for sure. So, yeah, I just feel nothing but gratitude and a lot of love for the people I've worked with all year.

Tell us about the celebrations on the pitch and on the balcony? 

RM: Yeah, I didn't go on the balcony, so I don't know. But to watch them from the pitch to celebrate that together is, yeah, will live in me forever. 

As a group of players and young men, they've been incredible at what they've done and how much they've grown together in terms of spirit and togetherness.

I thought that would probably be the toughest bit at the start of the season when I saw how much the group had been fractured and not together and all that stuff after relegation.

To watch them enjoy that and show the love they show for each other every day, how they've been this week, the feeling they've had and how together they are has been amazing. 

I hope we can keep as many of that group together as we possibly can. I said to them after, this is football.

It'll be the last time we're all together as a group because things change, people move on. So, for them to really, really enjoy it, and I hope they do. 

I'll probably end up in bed alone tonight, crying my eyes out and feeling nothing but love for them because I do.

It's such a fine balance. When I ask them to do the stuff they're doing on the pitch, it's not easy to show the courage they play with. 

When they do it and they make a mistake and they continue to do it, it's incredible. I'll never, ever take that for granted.

Then the love you feel for them, but the balance of that and being really demanding and brutally honest with them at times is difficult in the same way as with your kids. 

I feel sometimes probably the balance is too far one way and too far the other, but I felt we found a sweet spot in the last few weeks and I think the players have been incredible.

Jack Stephens was in tears during our interview a moment ago, what a moment for all of you.

RM: I'm glad that Jack's given himself a moment like that. He knows what I feel about him, he's one of the best human beings I've ever had the pleasure of working with.

He cares so deeply, he's so intense and as a leader he's really grown this year and I think he'll continue growing in his role as the captain.

Some of the stuff he does on the pitch is amazing. He's played that position for us for the last however long and did it with so much energy, intensity, and wants to learn all the time.

They're a big part of the process, especially the guys at the back when we're trying to build up, what we do and always ask questions and want to learn.

He is the same as Taylor, who becomes our player now, which is really nice. So yeah, I'm so pleased for Jack after last season being away from the club that he loves.

In my opinion, that is madness. I wasn't here then but for him to have that day today is beautiful.

You mentioned Taylor Harwood-Bellis is your player now and it seems a bargain as well?

RM: I don't know how much we paid for him but whatever it was, it'll be worth it for sure.

I said to him before the game, I joked to him this morning, I said that the biggest motivation for me today is that we win so you can carry on working with me and you'll be stuck with me.

I genuinely mean it, it is one of the things I was so desperate to win today is to continue working with him.

I really believe he'll go and play for his country many, many times and I hope we can help him on his journey to get there.

How is David Brooks after coming off today? 

RM: Yeah, he's dislocated his shoulder, so I'm really gutted for him. I thought he was so good against West Brom and he wasn't meant to play. 

We had an injury the day before and he'd come into the team and I said to him, I feel like things happen for a reason sometimes and he'd come in and it was honestly his best game for us.

He started the game really good today, really threatening and for him to then do that, really disappointing for him.

He's in there loving it and enjoying it and hopefully a bit of champagne and a few beers will numb the pain a little bit for him as well. 

So he's been a brilliant addition for us in his personality and the way he plays football. And I thought big shout out to Sam Edozie when he came on.

I thought he was outstanding, he was so good. Really top performance from him and he cramped on the occasion of being young and it was hot. 

He had to come back off but it wasn't about performance, I thought he was really top. So this group is there and they support each other.

We always talk about the importance of being ready if you're not playing. I just feel bad for the guys that didn't get on and I feel really sick for Sekou having to leave him out this morning. 

Wrestling with that decision for 48 hours really is the worst part of the job so I felt sick about that, but he's in there celebrating with the guys and that means a lot.

It is part and parcel of the job, unfortunately.

The season's now over so can you tell us any more about the future of Che Adams, Stuart Armstrong and Alex McCarthy?

RM: Yeah, we'll try and keep all three. 

I think that's been the plan the whole time. Whether or not we can, I don't know. I know that there will be offers for all of them and probably offers that will pay them more than we can.

Hopefully the feeling they have and all that stuff will outweigh financial gain but maybe there'll be other things about it too.

Whether that is location, club, how they feel about it - but we'll do our very best to try and keep all three. 

I think all three of them have been really outstanding. We've missed Stuey since he's been injured.

The effort Che put in to get fit to be on that pitch, I don't think I'll ever take for granted. I feel so grateful to him for doing that. 

And then Big Al, I guess I'm a bit of an idiot for not playing a bit sooner but I think we have such a brilliant goalkeeping department here with Gavin and Joe as well.

I'm so pleased for Al that it finished in this way. As I said, maybe it was meant to happen that he came into the team at some point.

He's been immense since he came in so we'll try and keep Al as well and we'll keep our fingers crossed.

It's my job now to try and squeeze more money out of Phil and the board and everyone and see where it takes us.

What was your message to the players today - it was a close contest? 

RM: I felt we were missing a few opportunities to make Leeds run a little bit more and to spend a bit longer in their half.

There was a bit of tension in the game, which you understand because it's a final. We missed a few passes that we'd never normally miss.

I just tried to tell them to stick to the game plan a little bit. We had one action where it was a brilliant move where Arma went through and tried to square it to Will.

I felt that changed the game a little bit for us and put a little bit more fear into Leeds about pressing so aggressively.

Then we scored a really, really nice goal. It's something that the guys work on a lot in terms of the way it is built up.

Yeah, I didn't want us to defend as long as we did in the last 25 minutes but with the tension in the game, I understand that it's such a big occasion.

I thought when we had to defend, we defended so well. Alex McCarthy, when we needed him, was brilliant.

It was nine years after the game that you climbed those steps for Norwich. How did it compare?

RM: Yeah, it's different.  I don't want to do down the feeling I had at Norwich because I was a captain and been relegated and took that really personally the year before.

I was so hurt. So then to go and do it as a player was amazing, but it feels, I don't know, it feels really different as a manager with my family here.

They feel the weight of that so much more now than they did when I was a player because I guess they know my job is at stake at any point with that and the precarious nature of this job.

Then the team is going out onto the pitch in the vision that you want them to be in and with your instructions and us as a coaching staff.

So you feel that as well. This is probably the best feeling I've ever had.

It has been quite a remarkable journey for you over five years?

RM: I know possession doesn't win games and all that stuff, but it's a vehicle for us to try and take some randomness out of the game. Football is very random. 

It's also a vehicle for us to say to the players, this is the best opportunity you have to show the best version of yourself. I really believe that.

So you can show you can run, you can fight, then you can show you can take the ball in any situation. 

You can give the player next to you exactly what they need on the ball and show them a bit of love and care and detail.

I think, for me, if you win this way, for me, it's the best way. It doesn't mean it's the right or the wrong way. 

There's no right or wrong way, but it's what I believe in. It's what we believe in. And we finally won something doing it. 

So I guess it will be some form of validation for some people, but I love what I do and we're not going to change.

Now I'm sure it will start, it probably already has, that we won't be able to play this way in the Premier League and all of that stuff and the scrutiny intensity that's coming up.

So it's up to us to prove ourselves right and make sure that we embrace it without losing who we are.

Are you keen to face the world's best coaches?

RM: I've pitted my wits against some amazing coaches this season. I think the quality of the Championship's been incredible. Really incredible. 

The fact that Leeds were here today with 90 points, we finished fourth with 87 points, tells you how good the other two were.

Kieran McKenna and Enzo Maresca are linked with every job in the country right now, both of them, I think shows you the quality of the Championship this season.

But to go up against the best in the world players, managers, and stadiums, is going to be amazing. I need to stay in the job long enough to enjoy them all.

What was your message to Daniel and the Leeds players when you spoke to them briefly at the end?

RM: No, nothing. I'm just sorry. I'm sorry there has to be a loser at Wembley. I hate that. I genuinely am, because Wembley is amazing if you win. 

I've been here as a winner and a loser. Yeah, so I'm sorry to them and congratulations on a brilliant season, because they have had an amazing season.

It was only about a month ago that you lost 5-0 at Leicester and you said the performance was pathetic. How proud are you that the players have got over that?

RM: Yeah, amazing. It's been a couple of tough days, but I think I always accept losing if we look like the team we want to be.

And that night just wasn't, and it was a bit of a surprise. It was off the back of a tough result against Cardiff. And I think it was my fault. I didn't react well enough to the Cardiff defeat. 

If it was that, which I felt it was at the time, definitely my fault. And I said that to the players after.

Then we all sat down, the staff, the players, and everyone spoke about the opportunity we would have in four weeks' time, which is today. 

Everything now needs to be geared towards that and not stop us from achieving what we want to achieve.

Leicester was my fault. Hopefully, I think it was a big, big night for us in many ways.