Nigel Adkins accepted that Southampton were made to work hard for their slender 1-0 victory over struggling Bristol Rovers, but the Saints boss felt his side were worthy winners.
Guly Do Prado's solitary late strike kept the south coast club in second spot in League One behind newly-crowned champions Brighton.
"I think we deserved the win and just had to keep chipping away at it," said Adkins. "They came with a gameplan and could have scored a couple of goals in the first half."
He added: "I don't think the ball was in play enough and that ruined our rhythm and when a team defends as resiliently as Bristol Rovers, you have to work really hard to break them down.
"I think it was an excellent result though and I thought we definitely deserved the victory with the chances we had in the second half, where we could have scored seven or eight."
However, the victory was soured by an injury to Lee Barnard.
Adkins said: "He has gone to hospital and it looks like an ankle injury early on. But we are not the only team in the league with injury problems because everyone has them throughout the entire season."
Bristol Rovers boss Stuart Campbell felt his players could not have given any more, and it was that fatigue that led to the late winning goal.
"In the first half we were excellent and had a couple of good chances but we did not keep the ball well in the second period and could not hold out,'' said Campbell.
"We came into the game believing we could get a result but we were undone when the players were out on their feet at the end of the game. If we could have got a point it would have been a massive result for us but we have performed well and I am pleased with that."
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