Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse says Saints were rewarded for their efforts early in the match against Leicester as they beat the Foxes 3-0.
Ward-Prowse opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a well-struck effort into the left corner of the net, with Jay Rodriguez and Dušan Tadić adding goals in a comfortable win for the hosts at St Mary’s.
A lack of goals had been cited in Saints’ recent performances, and Ward-Prowse felt the team showed their capabilities in front of goal against Leicester.
“Every team goes through a tough period and we’ve certainly been through that and I think the way we performed on Wednesday and the way we dug in deep to score a goal at the end started off what we hope will be a good week for us.
“Today was going to be a tough game, but we matched them and we won the battle very early on which put us in good stead.
“The manager has spoken to us about being clinical and more aggressive in front of goal and we’re all aware that we need to score more goals, but it’s not only the strikers’ responsibility, it’s everyone roles to chip in with the goals and that was the case today.”
Saints held a 2-0 lead in the same fixture last season before being pegged back to 2-2, and Ward-Prowse said he was relieved to see the team go on and win the game this time.
“We learnt from last year,” he said. “I think it was the same scoreline at half time then and it wasn’t a great outcome, but I think it showed our maturity and the discipline we have throughout the team to ride that tough spell and make sure we came out on top.
Ward-Prowse was pleased with his own strike, and hopes the team will take their performance into Wednesday’s EFL Cup semi-final at Liverpool.
“It was nice to get on the scoresheet,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to do that and something I’ve been working on and it’s paid off today.
“I could have maybe had one or two more today and Pierre [Højbjerg] as well, but I think that sort of responsibility is growing and the manager is encouraging us to shoot more and take more chances which you could see paid off for us.
“You could see the freedom and the confidence which has grown within the team and I think we’ve come out of that bad spell now. It’s great timing going to Anfield which will be a tough place to go, but we can take a lot of confidence from today.”