Van Dijk: Our team spirit showed

By Gordon Simpson Thu 29 Sep Hapoel vs Saints

Virgil van Dijk believes Southampton's battling Europa League draw at Hapoel Be'er Sheva was a victory for team spirit.

On a hot night in Israel, and in front of a raucous home crowd, Saints fought hard to earn a 0-0 draw that keeps them top of Group K, with four points from their opening two matches.

Claude Puel's side certainly didn't have the game all their way, but they ensured a fifth clean sheet in a row to leave them heading home with what could be a valuable result.

"I think that shows the team spirit at the moment," van Dijk said. "It was a tough game and we knew before the game it was going to be tough with their fans behind them, and they've got a couple of quality players as well.

"We go home with a point, and I think we can be a bit satisfied as well with that. Obviously, we want to win, but I think overall we can be proud.

"It's a strong start, and I think the good thing is that we didn't lose, and for the confidence of the team that we kept a clean sheet again.

Virgil van Dijk and Maya Yoshida salute the travelling Saints fans

"Obviously, there are a lot of things we need to do much better, especially in the first half, but we kept a clean sheet, we take a point after a long journey and everybody can be proud of themselves I think."

Van Dijk, who captained the side, did admit he was kicking himself afterwards for not converting the best opportunity of the night, when he headed James Ward-Prowse's free-kick over the bar from close range in the fourth minute.

"I should have done better with the header, and I'm still thinking about it and am still angry about it as well, but we need to move on," he said.

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