Jack Stephens hailed an outstanding result and performance after helping Southampton to another clean sheet in the 1-0 victory over Tottenham at St Mary’s.
The defender assisted the only goal of the game, for the prolific Danny Ings, with a chipped pass in behind the Spurs defence in the 17th minute.
It’s now two clean sheets in a week for Saints, who have taken 10 points from four games over the festive period.
“It’s a massive result,” Stephens said. “Obviously, we’ve had some good results over Christmas, but it was really important today that we started the year right and continued our good form. I thought we were outstanding today.
“Obviously we had Chelsea and Villa – two away performances that were really good. Palace was a bit of a different game – we had a lot more of the ball and the onus was on us more to create.
“It was a little bit difficult, but we dug in and got a good point, and we’ve turned up today and put in a brilliant performance.”
Stephens admitted he was surprised to learn it was Saints’ first clean sheet on home soil all season, before praising the efforts of those in front of him in ensuring another shutout.
“I didn’t realise it was the first one of the season! That’s not very good, but it’s nice to get the first one,” he added.
“That’s two in three games in the league, so from a defender’s point of view, that’s really pleasing.
“I think you can see the whole team defending together – the lads up front and the midfield boys – there’s an unbelievable work rate and no one wants to concede.
“I think you can see a real togetherness and will to win. Hopefully we can continue this.”