Sam McQueen felt Southampton’s hard-fought victory over Middlesbrough was a step in the right direction.
A moment of brilliance from Sofiane Boufal helped Claude Puel’s men return to winning ways after disappointment in the Europa League on Thursday night.
For McQueen, who came in to start the game at left-back, it was a vital three points that gets Saints back on track.
“It was hugely important. We got the win and we’re happy. We said to each other that we needed to put the Europa League in the past,” McQueen said.
“We showed a lot of determination, even though it was a tough game and maybe we should have performed better.
“But it was a step in the right direction and we need more of that now.
“We want to try and move forward from the Europa League disappointment and wins will do that. We want to do well in the Premier League to get back into that competition next year.”
Boufal’s 53rd-minute goal was the difference, and McQueen admitted that Saints had to be patient as they looked to find a way through against a resolute Middlesbrough side.
“We had to have patience, that was certainly needed,” he added. “We created a few chances that perhaps we could have done better with.
“That’s sometimes going to happy. It was a good result in the end. We showed it’s not just the quality sometimes, it’s also about hard work.”