David Connolly is enjoying a new lease of life at Southampton since his return from injury last season, and is buoyed by the start both he and the rest of the first-team have made to the 2011-12 campaign.

With two goals in as many games - including the winner in Saints' 1-0 victory over Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday, Connolly accepts that there is plenty more hard work ahead, but hopes that Nigel Adkins' side can maintain their momentum.

"It's only two games in, so there's a long way to go," he confirmed. "We've hit the ground running, but it's a long, long season and everyone has got points to prove so let's hope it stays like that and we'll see where we are at the end of the season.

"It's hard to score goals at this level. You can't be scoring three times every week you're going to have to grind out wins. You're asking too much to expect two or three goals each time, it's just not going to happen, so it's a good sign that we can grind out a 1-0 win."


 

The evergreen Irishman has established himself as a perfect foil for Rickie Lambert in leading the Saints' attack, and at 34, the experienced striker is confident he can continue to produce his best form when called upon for action.

"I've played here when the manager selected me at the end of last season, throughout pre-season, and at the start of this season, so I feel great.

"I'm in as good a shape as I've ever been in and I've averaged nearly a goal a game in this league before," Connolly continued. "I've won this division before, got a Championship winner's medal so it's no problem for me, and I look forward to every game."

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