Fans who looked at Southampton in pre-season saw a team potentially capable of challenging for a mid-table finish.

But nine matches into the Barclays Premier League campaign and the Saints have been able to reach and hold onto a Europa League spot - an achievement not even considered a possibility before the first whistle was blown this season.

But Mauricio Pochettino's side have not just gone out and dominated their matches, this is a team that has hit the pitch and punched high above their weight.

Some examples of this include the 1-1 draw with Manchester United, the 1-0 win over Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool, and the 2-0 win over Swansea.

The only real bump in the road for this squad so far was their defeat to Norwich, a match which some may feel was still in favour of the Saints, as Norwich barely escaped with their three points. 

But Southampton's rise to where they are isn't really what matters, what does is how they plan to continue their form.

The key to Southampton's position isn't just wins, it's draws. Southampton's draws have been stacking up, and they have done well to get the extra point where a loss simply will not do.

They have been fortunate that their effort has paid off, and Pochettino will be optimistic looking at the remainder of his season.

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