Mark Hughes believes Southampton can apply a huge amount of pressure on the teams above them in the table when they visit Everton this weekend.
Saints head to Goodison Park on Saturday off the back of an uplifting 2-1 home victory over Bournemouth, which provided their Premier League survival hopes with a real shot in the arm.
Another three points tomorrow would lift Hughes's men out of the bottom three for at least a day, and the boss believes that could be an important psychological blow to the other sides in the fight.
"I talked about that after the Bournemouth game," said Hughes. "It was really important we won that first one. If you looked at it, we had four games left and we had to get the first part of it done right, which we were able to do.
mark hugheswe're all fully focused and the working week has been good. i haven't seen any let-up in terms of application.
on preparations for the season's final week
"It's only one quarter really of what we have to do and what's ahead of us, but that reality of winning those three points has put pressure on others.
"You see the tone of the media reports on our game and it's all about maybe teams around Southampton are now looking over their shoulder, and that's what we wanted to do.
"We wanted to have maximum points and get a little more pressure on those teams above us.
"We've been able to do that and, if we can back it up with another three points at the weekend, that's a huge amount of pressure on teams that maybe haven't got the momentum we have."
Hughes has also been pleased with the attitude and sense of determination on display at Staplewood again this weekend, as preparations for the final week of the season continued.
"We're all fully focused, we know exactly what's ahead of us, and the working week has been good, as it always has," he said.
"I haven't seen any let-up in terms of application and I've been really pleased with that since I came here and walked through the door, so that hasn't changed.
"If anything, I think our work's got better, because we do a lot of repetition on things we think will help us in games, so we're now a couple of weeks down the line with that type of work, so we're getting better at what we're trying to do."