Mauricio Pochettino was pleased to finally see his side’s endeavour reap dividends with a 3-1 win over Manchester City.
The manager celebrated his first success in charge of Southampton, and it was one worth toasting too, as the hosts outfought and outplayed the champions at St Mary’s.
Recent results have not gone the way Pochettino’s felt they deserved, but the performances have been encouraging enough to build up a steely resolve within the squad.
“The key is all of the work we put into it and the work that we’ve put in for all of the matches,” Pochettino told Saints Player after the game.
“Today we’ve seen it again, and the result has come to us too.
“I have said before in the other matches against Everton, Manchester United and Wigan that we played well but didn’t get the points that we deserved. Today we played well and got those points that we deserved.
“It is clear that we wanted to break their ranks and stop the connections that they had between their players and that is what we did today which led to the win.
“I have to point out the performances of everyone today,” he added. “Whether they were on the pitch or on the bench and also the staff because they are the ones who make it possible for us to go and get this result.”
The gaffer was also quick to praise the majority of the 31,798 strong crowd for their efforts in carrying the team over the line, particularly in the second half when Saints withstood late pressure from the visitors.
“The support from the crowd has been very important today and I want to congratulate my players.
“I have said many times before that I was very well received here, I have had a great welcome and I am very happy with the supporters, all the staff and the players that are here.
Having squared up to Sir Alex Ferguson little more than ten days ago, where Pochettino shared a bottle of wine with the Manchester United boss, the Argentine joked that he would not object to a return of the favour after beating United’s close rivals.
“If he sends me one I’ll be very grateful, but he doesn’t have to do so of course!
“The most important thing for me is that we’ve got two weeks in which to prepare for the next match and get the players who are injured to recover and be ready for that one in 15 days.”