Dušan Tadić felt that Southampton owed their victory at West Ham to the breakthrough strike from Charlie Austin just before half time.
In a cagey opening 45 minutes, Saints struck a crucial advantage five minutes before half time when Austin finished off Ryan Bertrand’s assist to hand the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Thereafter, Claude Puel’s men controlled much of the game, and added two further goals, including one from Tadić, to seal a fine 3-0 win away from home.
“It’s a really important three points for us and it was really hard to play because we saw West Ham have a reaction from the past couple of games where they have conceded a lot of goals,” Tadić told youtube.com/southamptonfc after the game.
“We knew it would be a tough first 15-20 minutes which is what happened. After that when we scored a goal I think it was much easier to play and we showed that we have a lot of qualities to punish them.
“I think West Ham put a little bit more pressure on us and they were strong on that, but maybe also we took too much time to play balls that maybe we should have played a little bit quicker.
"I think it was a good example when we scored the first goal, it was quick build up and quick play. In any minute where we have more space we can punish opponents.”
Tadić felt the team’s patient build up presented them with the breakthrough goal, and thought the collaborative effort got a deserved reward.
“This wouldn’t happen if we didn’t switch sides well and we did it then,” he observed.
“We played it quick, Davo was in that spot and we found him quick then you have much more space, for me, for Ryan and for all players.
“This was a goal from the whole team because it’s not just one player scoring goals.
“You always need more than one player to show some qualities, and it was a nice goal.”