Nigel Adkins was proud of the way his players rose to the challenge against fellow strugglers Reading to move out of the relegation zone.
Saints came into the match a place – and three points – better off than their opponents, who pipped the Hampshire side to the Championship title last season.
Adkins' side exacted revenge for that yesterday, with Jason Puncheon's goal enough to secure victory and propel Southampton up to 15th in the Premier League standings.
"It is a good three points for us," the Saints boss said. "It is important to win our home games, especially against the teams close to us in the league.
"I thought we thoroughly deserved the victory today and, in fact, I would have liked us to have scored some more goals from the opportunities we created.
"All in all, we've got to be happy with the clean sheet and three points. The players stepped up to the mark.
"I think if we can keep concentrating on our performances and what we want to do, we give ourselves an opportunity to go and win."
Right-winger Puncheon was the standout player for Southampton and Adkins felt he should have had two goals, having seen a first-half header chalked off.
"It was a great goal, I am delighted with it," Adkins said of the goal that did stand.
"Jason could have had a few more. He had a few opportunities and a perfectly good goal disallowed as well."
However, while there were many positives for Southampton, including a second Premier League clean sheet, they did lose captain Adam Lallana to injury in the first half.