José Fonte was pleased with Saints’ overall display in the 3-0 win over Norwich City at St Mary’s on Sunday.
The team captain was searching for a remedy following last week’s Europa League exit, and felt he got what both he and the team needed with a first league win of the season as Saints head into the international break.
Fonte now believes this could be the platform to build from for the rest of the season.
“Yes, we’re glad with the result and the performance and especially with the three points. That’s all we needed in my opinion, so hopefully we can kick on from now,” he explained.
“It was very important going into this two-week break,” Fonte added. “If we didn’t win it would be really hard, so we really wanted to win and thankfully we did.
“I think everyone understood what needed to be done. I thought the lads reacted really well and, as you could see, everyone took responsibility and wanted to play to help the team, so I’m really pleased.”
As Saints saw in the previous week’s game against another newly-promoted side, Norwich put in the sort of performance that showed no fear up until the dismissal of full-back Steven Whittaker but the hosts began on the front foot, according to Fonte.
“We were expecting a tough one, but I felt that we started well,” he said. “They had a chance, they didn’t take it and then we had a couple as well and we took control of the game. I thought we were comfortable.
“Obviously, after the red card, still we had to be concentrated, but it was easier. Sometimes it can be more difficult, but we made it easier. It was one of them games that we got a little bit of luck with the red card and we took the advantage.”
The composed nature of Saints’ play to take a 3-0 lead was not dissimilar from the way many teams were beaten at St Mary’s last season, and it was an characteristic that Fonte had strived for a return.
He said: “That’s what we spoke during the week – we need to get back to what we do best, which is play football, enjoy our football, be expansive and above all create chances and just play out of our philosophy.”