Mohamed Elyounoussi was delighted to make an impression against Newport, as the attacker scored his first Southampton goals with a hat-trick at Rodney Parade.
Saints were in unforgiving mood against the League Two side, with debutant Armando Broja netting a brace alongside further goals from Nathan Tella, Kyle Walker-Peters and Nathan Redmond.
Ralph Hasenhüttl made a total of nine changes to his starting line-up for the game, and Elyounoussi spoke of the importance of seizing that chance to shine.
“It’s always nice to score goals,” he said. “We kept a clean sheet and all of the attackers got a goal or an assist today, we played well, so it was a good job from us.
“We know we have a good squad – not only the starting eleven but the boys on the bench as well can come in and make a difference. We showed it today.
“First and foremost, we needed a good performance collectively. But then, of course, individually this is your opportunity to step up and you have to take it. I’m pleased with the performance of the team, and obviously with myself.”
The Norway international admitted he’s missed life in Southampton, having spent the past two seasons on loan at Celtic, scoring 25 goals in 68 appearances.
“I’m enjoying it very much – I’ve missed it. It’s been a good pre-season, and this is the beginning. I need to continue, keep working hard and take my chances,” he added.
“The atmosphere was great, with a lot of away fans. There were a lot of Saints fans here, which was nice.
“We knew from before that a lot of Premier League teams had come here and struggled, so we knew it was going to be a tough game.
“That’s why we were professional from the first minute. We got the early goal, which was very important for us.”