Jay Rodriguez has emphasised the importance of the 2-1 victory away at Middlesbrough, as Southampton now move to joint 8th in the table.
As well as putting a top-ten finish firmly in Saints’ sights, Rodriguez felt it was crucial to win after the manager made seven changes to the starting eleven.
“It was important to win the game,” started Rodriguez.
“We had a lot of change in the team today and I think that all of the lads that came in did really well, so it’s an important win.
“We have good lads in this team who get their heads down and work hard, and I think that really showed today.”
Rodriguez, who was one of those seven changes, gave Saints the lead on the 42nd minute at the Riverside.
And the 27-year-old felt that, with the way the game was going, it was an important time to score.
“I think it came at the crucial time,” he continued.
“We found it hard at times to break Middlesbrough down, but it was a great ball from Longy into the box for me.
“It was a good time to score because I think it settled us down just in time to control the rest of the game.”