Claude Puel believes an eighth-place finish is just reward for the effort his Southampton squad have shown this season.
Saints suffered final day defeat to Stoke City at St Mary’s, but were still able to confirm their fourth consecutive finish in the top eight of the Premier League.
“To finish eighth in the table, with all of these injuries and games, is a good thing,” he started.
“It is a good reward for the players for the spirit and attitude they have shown in all of the games and training sessions.
“Now we need to take a small break and come back ready to work hard and improve again.”
Puel was able to welcome Charlie Austin back to the starting XI for the final game of the Premier League season against Stoke City.
The frontman had been sidelined since December with a shoulder injury, and Puel was delighted to see him back out playing at St Mary’s.
“It was interesting to see Charlie back again starting the game,” he continued.
“It was a good reward for having to come through a long injury. He looked to provide a good solution for him team mates.
He was a bit tired at the end but that is normal after being out for such a long time.”