Matt Targett is not underestimating the importance of another point on the board after Southampton extended their unbeaten Premier League start to 2019 to four games.
By the defender’s own admission, Saints were not at their best against Crystal Palace under the lights at St Mary’s, but dug deep to salvage a share of the spoils.
The visitors held a slender advantage at the break, given to them courtesy of Wilfried Zaha’s driven shot, but James Ward-Prowse’s third goal in as many league games levelled things up before Palace talisman Zaha was dismissed late on.
“It was a massive point in the end. Palace made it difficult for us and we had to work hard for it,” Targett said.
“They’ve come with a clear game plan and executed it very well. They were waiting for our mistakes, and tonight we made a lot of them, but we dug deep and got the equaliser.
“We didn’t get much joy in the first half. The manager said in the second half we needed to play a few more long balls on to their full-backs and pick up second balls around the box.
“We did that a lot and that’s where the goal came from – the side where the manager said to play the long balls – so that was nice.
“It was probably the first time we’d actually got down the sides and in behind them, and that’s how we got the goal.”
Targett was quick to praise fellow Academy graduate Ward-Prowse after the midfielder continued his fine form in front of goal, dispatching a 77th minute cross from Targett himself.
“It was a new opportunity for everyone when the manager came in, and to be fair to him he’s taken his chance very well,” he added.
“He’s on fire at the moment, which is good. He’s worked very hard since the manager’s come in and he’s given new life into him. Long may it continue.”