Romain Perraud was delighted to score the first brace of his professional career, as the Frenchman fired Southampton into the last 16 of the Emirates FA Cup at St Mary’s.
The left-back celebrated his first start since the victory over Crystal Palace in the previous round with two goals to give Saints a 2-0 lead over Championship side Blackpool.
Charlie Patino reduced the deficit midway through the second half, setting up a frantic finish as the Seasiders threw caution to the wind late on, but Saints prevailed to win their sixth cup tie of the season.
“It’s my first time, so I’m very happy to score twice in a game, especially for this club,” Perraud said of his double.
“We know it’s never easy to play against this type of team. They are here with nothing to lose, so it’s important to win this type of game.
“The gaffer gave me the chance to play, so in my head it was just, ‘enjoy the football and play like I did before,’ and after that the gaffer will make his choice.
“For me, my first thing when I am on the pitch is just to give everything and give my best.”
Perraud’s first goal came directly from a free-kick – a rare opportunity in the absence of set-piece specialist James Ward-Prowse.
“We had a little discussion with Mislav and he told me, ‘take the free-kick and try to put the ball on the goalkeeper’s side,’” he revealed.
“To be honest, I just tried to shoot with the most power I can, and it was a goal, so I was very happy to score a free-kick. Maybe I will have a discussion with Prowsey for the next game – we will see!
“I think since the last couple of games we are in a good way, to be honest, except maybe the Aston Villa game at home, but it is definitely better.
“Every game can help you to be better, to try to be together, to build confidence as a team. We can see how the fans were for us today, and we were very thankful for that.”