Nigel Adkins left the Britannia Stadium satisfied with a draw after a rollercoaster of an afternoon in Stoke.
His side led 3-1 at half time as Saints stunned the Potters who were unbeaten in nine Premier League games on home soil heading into the contest.
A dramatic second half which included a red card for Stoke’s Steven Nzonzi added to the belief that Adkins’ men could take all three points back south, but goals from Matt Upson, and a terrific strike from Cameron Jerome, squared the game up for a draw.
“I thought we did fantastically well,” Nigel reflected on Saints Player.
“We have come away from home where there is a notoriously noisy home support and our fans have could be heard all around the stadium in the first half.
“We scored three very good goals and they have only conceded four here all season. I thought we dominated in the first half and I was really pleased, we started OK in the second half and we had the chance to go four up.”
As expected, Stoke threw everything they could at Saints, bringing Peter Crouch into the action late on, but despite the late equaliser, the visitors should look back at the game as a point gained according to the gaffer.
“We knew we would have to defend, they put the ball in the mixer whether you like it or not and you have to defend that. Manfully the players have done their jobs today and it has taken a wonder goal for them to get the equaliser today.
“We play football, but we knew that we would have to have a mentality to go and compete, because – with great respect to Stoke City – you have to compete when you come here. You saw that in the last half-an-hour they were throwing everything at us.
“Stoke are a massive side and with all the balls they put in the penalty area you have to defend that. Especially in the first half I thought there was some really good play and our game management was spot on.
“At the end of the day we haven't come away with three points but we have come away with something.”
Saints now prepare to host Arsenal on New Year’s Day, and Adkins says there are plenty of positives to take into that game from this one.
“We have come away from home and got a point - that is hard to do in the Barclay's Premier League, especially at the Britannia,” he affirmed.
“We score goals consistently but to do that against a very mean defence is very positive for us.
“We showed a resilience and team spirit and a desire to hang in there when everything was getting thrown against us, so that is really positive for the rest of the campaign.”