Claude Puel expressed his immense pride at leading Southampton to their first League Cup final for over 30 years, with a 2-0 aggregate win over Liverpool.
Shane Long’s goal in stoppage time at Anfield added to Nathan Redmond’s strike in the first leg to secure a place at Wembley.
In doing so, Saints also became the first side ever to reach the final without conceding a goal, and naturally Puel was delighted with his team’s efforts.
“I’m proud, of course, of all my players and the squad because it’s a fantastic reward as they work very hard all the time,” said Puel.
“It’s good for the fans the staff too and the injured players too who have participated as well for this possibility.
“It’s fantastic and now we need a good recovery because it’s a strong emotion.
“After, we go to Wembley not just participate in the final of course but to try and win the cup.”
A defensive resolve was matched by a threat on the counter-attack and in the first-half chances fell to Dušan Tadić and Steven Davis.
After the interval, Puel’s men valiantly stood up to the hosts pressure before Long sealed things.
Puel reflected: “We can do a very good first-half with chances and it was a shame we couldn’t make a difference with some good situations.
“The second-half was difficult with chances against us. We were a little lucky but we saw over the two games that this is normal.”