It was the perfect return to competitive football for Ralph Hasenhüttl and his Southampton side after they trounced Norwich City 3-0 at Carrow Road, climbing to 13th in the table as a result.
Saints have put 10 points between themselves and those who currently sit in the Premier League drop zone, with Hasenhüttl praising his side’s commitment – both during the game and in the time they’ve had to train at home.
St Mary’s will play host to Saints’ next fixture, as Arsenal visit the south coast next Thursday, with the manager sure his squad’s fitness levels can stand up to the test.
“The first 10 minutes we had a few problems trying to get into the game against a very aggressive opponent,” he asserted.
“We started to fight back and from that moment on it was a very good performance.
“The second half was exactly what I have been demanding, being more clinical in the final third.
“Ingsy got the opener – like very often. It’s a new situation and nobody knows how good we are in the moment.
“We showed a very committed and a good organised performance. It was a deserved win.
“I must say is that the impression I had is that the guys returned fit. They worked very hard in the break and did their jobs at home.
“We’ve been working hard the last few weeks to push again for 90 minutes, without our fans. Because normally they help us to win games but today we tried to be sharp without them.”