Ralph Hasenhüttl felt his side deserved the victory at Brighton as Southampton came from behind at the Amex Stadium.
The visitors trailed to Pascal Gross’ penalty, but levelled on the stroke of half-time courtesy of Jannik Vestergaard’s third of the campaign.
Enjoying the better of the match after the restart, Saints confirmed an instant return to winning ways when Danny Ings converted from the spot to mark his comeback from injury in perfect style.
Lifting Hasenhüttl’s side back up to fifth in the table, the manager was left to hail a hard-working performance.
“It was a good fight,” he said. “I’m very happy today because we did what was necessary against a tough opponent.
“To be 1-0 down is never easy and today we turned the table, and I think I have to respect what we did today. The fight was unbelievable.
“We tried always to put pressure on them and not let them play, and the back four did a fantastic job today also. Especially our work against the ball was the key today.
“It was a performance, especially against the ball, that has to be. When you want to deserve a win, you have to work extremely hard.
“I think especially in the second half we made a lot of negative sprints toward our own goal, but we have to, and if you do it then you deserve to get something.
“We were closing very quick and the opponent did not have a long time to create a chance. They still had a few but in the end I think it was a good game from us.”