Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl felt his side deserved their 3-1 victory at Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.
First half goals from Danny Ings and Jack Stephens put the visitors in the driving seat at half-time, before Ings’s 13th of the season after the restart was enough to ensure Jack Grealish’s late strike would be little more than a consolation.
Lifting Saints out of the relegation zone for Christmas, Hasenhüttl praised his side’s performance.
“It was important,” he said. “We knew this before the game and I think it was a deserved win for us.
“We were the better team today, played some good football and scored good goals, and not only good football but also better defending.
“It was really committed and in the end it was hard work, but when you get three points for it, you like to do it.
Ralph Hasenhüttl“We’re all happy now. It was an opponent we had to win against to lift us from the relegation zone and we won.
on Saints' victory
“Now we’re in a good race with a few clubs in front of us by one point with some interesting games over Christmas.
“We must keep on working. That’s the only way to take points.”
Rising to 17th in the table and just one point off of 14th, victory at Villa Park delivered a timely morale boost.
Heading to Chelsea on Boxing Day before hosting Crystal Palace two days later, the Saints manager is looking for continued improvement.
“The performance in away games is absolutely okay and we must also say that in the home games we have to have a better atmosphere.
“When we play against Crystal Palace we must have a very positive atmosphere. It’s about us to go to Chelsea now and get something there, and then we must do everything we have done in the three games for a good atmosphere.”