Nigel Adkins praised his squad of players for setting an example in seeing off Stevenage in the Capital One Cup.
After a goalless first 45 minutes where the visitors came under pressure from a determined Boro side, Saints raced into a 3-0 second half lead through strikes from Tadanari Lee, Billy Sharp, and Jason Puncheon.
A late flurry saw both teams net in stoppage time, leaving the manager to reflect on a 4-1 victory that put his side into the third round of the competition.
“You’ve got to realise when you come away in any cup game it’s going to be competitive and you expect no different,” he told Saints Player.
“The big thing is the attitude, the application and the professionalism of them all.
“Dean Hammond had the captain’s armband and covered every blade of grass, put in some thunderous challenges and that aided the youngsters out there.
“He played alongside James Ward-Prowse who is coming on fantastically well and it helps when you’ve got good pros alongside you with Danny Butterfield, Frazer Richardson, Richard Chaplow, good, honest, hardworking pros who do it day in and day out in training.
“If we can surround the youngsters with good professionals who have the right habits then it will help them.”
Japanese star Lee struck his second goal for the club to put Saints in front at the Lamex Stadium, and Nigel was pleased with the way that the forward came through the contest, playing on the left of the front three.
“He’s had 90 minutes which was very pleasing,” Adkins explained. “He’s had to graft very hard and we’re pleased that he’s got that under his belt now.
“It was a good goal and good pass that put Billy Sharp in down the side of the centre half and fizz it across - and it was a good finish.”
The gaffer confirmed that Steve De Ridder missed out after being kicked in training, but he still hopes to add players to his squad before the transfer window shuts on Friday.
“We will be bringing players in,” he stated prior to the announcement of Emmanuel Mayuka’s signing.
“We have been working very behind the scenes with the recruitment department and the chairman. I know what’s been going on and we’ve had to keep our mouths shut.
“It’s been a long summer, I know what’s been going on, it’s been a long summer and there have been a lot of exciting things going on but they’ve got to sign on that dotted line.
“I know there will be additions coming in before the deadline closes on Friday so watch this space. Until people sign that piece of paper it’s neither on nor off.
“The chairman has been great. He’s backing it and trying to do everything he can.
“We want to push on,” Adkins added. “We’ve had back to back promotions and we are a forward thinking football club.
“We are trying to bring quality players into the group and the finances that go with all of it, the persuasion that goes with all of it, we’ve worked very hard since the day we were promoted and now what we’ve got to do is make sure we get the players that all being well cross that line before Friday.
“It’s fair to say that we are going to bring players that are going to improve the group, exciting players, and players that will push us to that next level where we need to be in the Barclays Premier League.”