Southampton manager Ronald Koeman believes his squad is currently the strongest it has been during his time at the club.
The Saints boss has overseen a five-match unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League, boosting the chances of qualifying for Europe for a second successive season.
With 13 games left, Koeman is delighted with the strength and depth he has at his disposal.
He told reporters: “Of course, you have during the season bad times and good times. I think now at the moment this is the strongest squad from the beginning when I came to Southampton, because we have really strong competition between the players.
“It’s not easy to make every week the best line-up, but that’s what you want. You need that competition. Still, we have some players out through injuries, but at the moment we have 22 really good players and that’s important to have and to finish strong how we like to finish the season.”
Koeman added: “Last season maybe sometimes it was easy to take the best 11, or even to take the best 18 in the squad.
“We had a lot of young, under-20 players making their debut for the first-team, but now it’s all about the players we have in the first-team selection and they give really good competition.
“What you like if somebody gets a good opportunity to play is that he shows his qualities and that’s what you like as a manager.”
Koeman is also buoyed by the ability of Saints to play out of either a 4-2-3-1 system or a 3-5-2.
“That’s all about the players, because if you have those kind of players you can play different systems, and that’s good, because that’s difficult for opponents,” he said.
“You don’t know what you can expect, and that’s good for us, because we know how to play out of both systems. We have different types of strikers, different types of midfield players, we can play with three at the back or four at the back – that’s not a problem.”