JACK Stephens admitted it was pleasing to get one over on Watford in the FA Cup and is now confident Saints can get themselves out their “sticky situation” in the Premier League.

Earlier this month, Saints surrendered a two-goal lead against the Hornets at Vicarage Road, with a handball goal by Abdoulaye Doucoure making it 2-2 in the last minute of normal time.

On Saturday, Mauricio Pellegrino’s men got one back on Watford with a 1-0 win in the FA Cup fourth round and Stephens, who scored the winning goal in the fourth minute, is sure the triumph will lift them as they bid to escape the drop zone.

Eighteenth placed Saints can potentially pull closer to struggling Watford, who were woeful at St Mary’s on Saturday and are just four points ahead of Pellegrino’s men in tenth, this week. Saints play fellow battlers Brighton on Wednesday before a trip to 19th-placed West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

“I won’t lie, it’s nice to put them out the cup,” said Stephens, who celebrated his 24th birthday with his first goal for the club in the FA Cup win.

“It’s important we focus on ourselves and we wanted to get through in this cup and it gives us a boost for Wednesday’s game.

“We need to get some points because we’re in a sticky situation which I’m confident we can get out of but we need to start getting some points.”

He continued: “The goal is a bonus for me. I’m just glad it helped get the team the result we needed.

“We would have liked it to be a bit more comfortable but we got the result and we played really well I thought, especially first half, and we’re through, which is the main thing.”

In the 2-2 draw at Watford, Saints were undone as the hosts went direct and more physical in a second-half during which Stephens admits Pellegrino’s side were “bullied”.

However, Saints demonstrated resilience on Saturday and protected their one-goal lead successfully, even if they did drop deep and invite pressure from Watford.

“After that game (the 2-2) we had to look at ourselves and we had to stand up and be counted because when we were faced with it at their place I thought we got bullied really for periods of that second half,” he said.

“Obviously, the equalising goal was disappointing to concede, but the way we played in that second half was poor.

"Today we dealt with it really well and limited their chances and we stopped them creating any big chances and managed to hold on.”

Pellegrino brought on centre-back Maya Yoshida on in place of attacking midfielder Sofiane Boufal in the 67th minute; a negative change which drew much contempt from the St Mary’s crowd.

And it proved to be a drab closing period to the game, as Saints clung on with Stephens’ first goal for the club the difference in the end.

“I’ve missed a couple of chances the last couple of weeks, so I have felt like it’s been getting closer and a few of the lads have been getting on at me,” he said, about his goal.

“My job’s obviously to defend and if I can get on the end of one in their box then it’s a bonus. But it’s definitely nice to get one.”

Now Stephens is targeting vital points against Brighton and West Brom.

He said: “We’re not going to deny they are big games. We need to get points, but then they’re going to be fighting as well.

“It’s going to be a battle, but I think if we play like today and like we did against Spurs we’ll have no problems.”