“We needed that,” was the message from Jack Stephens after Southampton hammered Sunderland 4-0 at the Stadium of Light.
Saints had lost their previous two league games heading into the game against the Black Cats – their final one before the EFL Cup final – but they produced a superb performance to claim all three points.
Two goals from Manolo Gabbiadini set Claude Puel’s men on their way, before an own-goal and a strike from Shane Long rounded off an excellent afternoon.
Speaking afterwards, Stephens said the three points were exactly what was needed, but was also delighted to pick them up thanks to a very impressive display.
“I think it was exactly what we needed. We needed the win and we didn’t really care how we got it,” Stephens told southamptonfc.com after the game.
“But to do it in the way we did was extra special. I thought we played really well. Sunderland had a fantastic result away at Palace last week, so we knew they would be high in spirits.
“They came at us early on, but we got through that and then we dominated the football match. We wanted to keep the ball and keep switching it.
“We forced them into a change at half time, which was down to our good play. In the second half it was relatively straightforward and we managed to get the late goals.”
The own-goal from Jason Denayer and Long’s composed finish came within the final five minutes, but Stephens felt Saints more than deserved the 4-0 scoreline on the balance of play.
“I think we more than merited the four goals. On the whole it was a really good team performance,” he added.
“We’ve had a bit of a sticky spell, so it was important to get the win, but the way we performed makes it an even better day for us.”