Saints defender Wesley Hoedt has called for a continuation of the defensive solidity that has seen his team keep clean sheets in two consecutive Premier League matches.
A new pairing of Hoedt and Jack Stephens excelled against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium before repeating the trick against Newcastle at St Mary’s last weekend.
While scoring goals remains the missing piece, growing confidence at the back can only be a good thing for Mark Hughes’s men going forwards.
“Compliments to all the defenders because this season there’s been a lot of competition for places,” the Dutchman said after Saturday’s goalless draw.
“It’s nice to have kept two clean sheets in a row. We were criticised at the start of the season and it was up to us to step up and show a higher level. For now, Jack and I are showing that and it’s good for us individually and of course for the whole team to raise the level of competition.
“It’s easier to build from a clean sheet than if you have to start over again after conceding. Now we are solid at the back and that needs to continue.”