Mark Hughes wanted to see a greater level of determination and commitment from his players and he got it at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
At the top of the Welshman’s wish-list following defeat to West Ham the previous week was an improvement in Saints’ mentality and were it not for Danny Welbeck’s late header, his team would have returned home with a well-earned point.
For Hughes, the same character showed in north London will serve his charges well for the remaining six games of the campaign.
“I needed to see a group of players working hard, doing the hard yards and affecting the opposition with intent and purpose, and I saw that from the first minute.
“I think it’s important that we take what we can from the game. It’s a disappointment clearly but I don’t think it effects our confidence negatively. If anything, we should take heart from the level of performance we showed here.
“We can build on this, everyone that watched the game – the support was fantastic from the away end - will have seen the effort the lads put in.”