James Ward-Prowse hailed the belief and character of Southampton after they earned a vital 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League at St Mary’s.
Saints trailed at the interval to a Harry Kane strike, but turned in a superb second-half display to turn the game on its head, with Yan Valery netting his second goal in as many games before Ward-Prowse stepped up to curl home a stunning free-kick late on.
And after scoring his sixth goal in nine games, the midfielder expressed his delight at earning a big three points.
“It’s a big win. I don’t think anyone expected us to get anything today but with the belief that we showed and the character in the second-half, that epitomises everything the manager has brought into the team and the club. That’s the Southampton we know.
“Spurs are without doubt a quality team and we knew they were going to have a lot of possession but I think we were a bit passive and brought them on to us and we were lucky to go in to the break just the one goal down.
“We saw that as an opportunity and you could feel the game coming back into our hands in the second-half. I think we were very clinical and I think the lads who came on made a big difference as well, so all in all a really good performance.”
Ward-Prowse’s inch-perfect set piece sent St Mary’s into raptures and prompted further scenes of elation as the whistle blew, with Ralph Hasenhüttl calling players and staff into a huddle against a vociferous backdrop of “Oh When the Saints” from the stands.
“It brings goosebumps to you. When you make the fans proud, when you work hard and grind together. I think the way defended in the last five to ten minutes was great because we were winning headers and tackles as well as managing the game well,” Ward-Prowse added.
“We put in a good solid performance against Fulham and at Manchester United we played well and should have come away with something more. Today that epitomises what we are as a team and a club. The confidence is high, the energy is great and it’s great to be part of his team and to play with these lads.”