Rickie Lambert described the sense of achievement felt by the squad after reaching the club’s record tally of 52 points in the Barclays Premier League.
Saturday’s win over Everton at St Mary’s saw Southampton move onto the record with two games still to play, in just the second season of the team’s return to the top-flight.
The record meant a lot to Lambert in particular, who felt that the current crop have deserved to make a bit of Saints history.
“We have been desperate to get onto 52 points and that probably was our biggest ambition because I think it’s one hell of an achievement that we’ve matched it,” he told Saints Player.
“We’ve got two games now to try and beat that and that’s the desire that we need.
“We beat a team who are chasing the Champions League to do it and we showed just as much if not more desire than them, so it’s full credit to the gaffer and everyone involved.”
Lambert set Saints on their way to the 2-0 victory over Everton by putting the telling cross into the area which Antolin Alacaraz diverted past his own keeper, and the striker revealed that it was nice to prove his abilities in assisting goals as well as scoring them.
“I think I’ve shown over the years that I can pick a pass, and I love assisting goals and I’m always looking to assist,” he said, before recalling an opportunity where he didn’t pass to Adam Lallana in the first half.
“I don’t know why I shot which is frustrating when I was looking for a pass. I need to get the balance right because I’m a striker and I always want to score goals so I need to get that back and I will, don’t worry about that.
“I really enjoyed the game and I liked playing in that deeper position again,” Lambert added. “With the players I’ve got around me I can interchange with them and I get more touches, so that’s why I enjoy it, throughout my career I’ve always tended to get on the ball and that’s what I can do in a deeper role.
“It was good as I could get the ball to Adam, who I thought was brilliant again today.”
Mauricio Pochettino placed Sam Gallagher in attack alongside Lambert, with the England man pleased to see the youngster get a start in the game for the first time since the bereavement of his father earlier this year.
“I can’t imagine what he’s been through and it hasn’t happened to me, so everyone has tried to be the same around him,” said Lambert.
“We all felt for him over what happened, but the way he’s handled it has been terrific. You can tell by speaking to him what kind of lad he is and he’s a top-drawer kid, and everyone at the club is really hoping he does well. If he keeps on going the way he is then I can’t see anything else.
“I think they were expecting me up top, with Ads and Davo (Steven Davis) just off, but we changed it to bring Sam in and I think he deserved it because he’s done well today. I thought he had big hands in both of the goals – he was a menace in the box as he put the defenders under pressure .
“It was good to play behind him, he always gives you an option, so for an 18-year-old he’s looking very good.”