A St Mary's united, two goals of real quality and a significant three points ensured that Mark Hughes was full of praise for his players after Saint’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth.
The Welshman had called on his team to leave nothing on the field at St Mary’s and they duly delivered on Saturday afternoon. They replied with a strong start and the belief from kick-off that victory was absolutely essential.
“We couldn’t really have any belief that we would get out of this situation unless we won today. Three point was the goal and it was the total focus of our preparation for the game.
“When it was happening, it wasn’t quite enjoyable for any of us in the stadium but now everyone can look back and see that we are giving everything to stay in this league.”
Josh King’s equaliser on the stroke of half time threatened to dispel the positivity of Dušan Tadić’s early opener but the Serb and Saints rallied for a second time after the break set up a critical result.
The scenes in the stands and indeed the dugout at full time showed its significance.
“I thought we were good value in the first half to lead at the break,” he added.
“It was disappointing to concede against the run of play at the end of the half and a little bit of a concern because at that point I thought we were quite comfortable; you worry how that could have affected us.
“For the second half we came out with real intent. In the end, it was a bit of a rollercoaster for everyone but we’ve been able to get the job done with real determination. There were some fantastic saves from Alex at the death.
“There is nothing we didn’t deserve on the day, to a man we were excellent. Given the circumstances, we made all the right replies. You saw the reaction of everyone in the stadium; they understood the significance of a result and they got us over the line.”