Graziano Pellè was delighted to put a frustrating few months behind him after his match-winning display at Stoke City.
The striker scored twice to fire Saints to a 2-1 victory at Britannia Stadium that lifted Ronald Koeman’s side up to seventh in the Barclays Premier League.
Pellè netted an 11th minute header from a Steven Davis corner, before curling a shot past Jack Butland on the half-hour mark after linking up with Dušan Tadić.
While Stoke mounted a second-half comeback, via a Marko Arnautović effort, Saints held on for a vital three points in the chase for Europe.
Having contended with a knee injury in recent weeks, while also enduring a goal drought that extended back to the 2-0 win over Bournemouth on 1st November, Pellè was thrilled to have made such a significant contribution.
"I'm really happy about the goals,” he told Southampton’s official YouTube channel. “My goal was to be back in the best fitness, because I had small problems and I was struggling a bit the last few months.
“Now again I'm fit, it's important for me to end the season in the best way possible, because it's going to be important for me and for the club.
"In general it was a bit frustrating, because it's almost impossible that I say 'No, I'm not able to play' but I had to, because after a bad contusion I had a bit of irritation under my tendon in my knee and I had to actually lose those two months, but now finally I'm back.
“It's not about the goals, I'm just feeling better now and I don't have any more problems, and this is the most important for me. Now it is time to show.
"I'm in good shape and now it's really important to focus on the rest of the games. We have important offensive players, a big squad, everybody is really good and the trainer is going to make the decision who he is going to play, but I'm sure that I will be ready from now until the end to show my quality.”