Graziano Pellè says he knew he had to produce something special to secure Saints’ victory over Queens Park Rangers.
The Saints striker pulled off an incredible overhead kick to settle a tightly-contested meeting at St Mary’s this afternoon.
Moments earlier, the newly-promoted Hoops had pulled level through an impressive strike from Charlie Austin, leaving Pellè to feel the weight of responsibility.
“I remember,” Pellè explained to youtube.com/southamptonfc, “that there was a moment just before I scored that I said to myself: ‘I need to score right now.’
“We had a really long week, in the middle of which we played Arsenal and spent a lot of energy, and my teammates needed a player like me, who can hold the ball and score a goal.
“It was important in that moment not to give up and to score as soon as possible, so I’m really happy. It was an amazing goal.
“I score nice goals in general. The trainer was joking with me that this is one of my top goals, like the ones I got in Holland. He said the first four I got here were too easy for me!
“A goal is a goal, but sometimes a goal like this gives you the feeling to keep going.
“It was important to score today to get us the three points, and things are going well.
“I’m happy for me and happy for the team. If we win, I’m happy. If we win and I score, I am double happy.”
The victory was Saints’ sixth in succession and perhaps the most evenly-contested, leaving Pellè pleased with the gritty nature of the win.
“It was a great performance from everybody – we showed today that we can win in another kind of way,” he reasoned.
“We are winning different kinds of games. We are always able to try to find a solution to win every game – we cannot win every game, but we are working hard to try to do that.
“I believe in my teammates and we believe in the staff. I’m really happy with how it’s going at the moment.
“This isn’t just lucky. We believe in what we’re doing. I don’t believe in luck. You don’t win six games because of some god or spirit.
“We believe, we are positive and we are always concentrated. The trainer and the staff are doing an amazing job.
“We are really happy, but it’s not enough. If we stop now, at the end of the season it will be like we didn’t do anything. The season is really long, so we have to keep going.”
Having rejected the chance to take a day off last week, the Saints squad are now not due to report back to Staplewood until Tuesday.
“This time we’ll keep the days off!” laughed Pellè.
“If we’d beaten Arsenal and then lost today, that would have been a really big regret at the end of the season.
“In football, it’s nice to work hard and then enjoy the moment. This is an amazing sport and an amazing job.
“Now we’ve got some days off because we need them, but we’re already focused on the next game because every one is important for us.”