Danny Ings hailed Southampton’s qualities off the ball in the 3-1 win at Aston Villa.
Reluctant to hog the spotlight after extending his personal hot streak to seven goals in seven games with a brace at Villa Park, the striker was quick to praise his hard-working teammates.
Sandwiched between Ings’s goals was a Jack Stephens header that put Saints 2-0 up in the first half, and the visitors were rarely threatened even after Jack Grealish spectacularly reduced the deficit late on.
“It’s massive,” Ings said. “We knew how important it was to come here today, put in a big performance and get the points.
“I thought we did that. Take the goals out of the equation, the lads defended unbelievably well today – you could see when the crowd were up and their team were building momentum, we shut that out quite well.
“Credit to everybody off the ball, because that was just as important as scoring the goals. Our defence, the midfield and Longy working his socks off again… it means so much to the team. It’s so important that we have that side as well as the quality on the ball.
“I thought from the start we were on top, taking that momentum throughout the game, and even after they scored we were still breaking forward in numbers and creating chances.
“Credit to the boys – we knew after West Ham we needed a big performance, and we produced just that today.
“It’s good to give that to the fans. It’s been up and down this season, everybody knows that, so to take that step today was huge.
“I thought it was one of our best performances of the season, and hopefully now we can build on that momentum.
“That’s it now. The game is done, we’ve got to look to the busy period we’ve got coming up and do all we can to pick up points.”