Southampton manager Nigel Adkins praised his side for their hard work as they moved closer to promotion with a 2-0 win over Hartlepool.
Rickie Lambert smashed in a penalty - which saw Pools skipper Sam Collins dismissed - before teeing-up centre-back Jose Fonte to head in the second eight minutes from time.
Second-placed Saints are ahead of Huddersfield on goal difference with a game in hand, and Adkins said: "Credit to Hartlepool. They were well organised as you would expect and we had to be patient to break them down but got there in the end."
He added: "I want the players to feel 10 feet tall and go out and express themselves and they have gone out and scored two very good goals and earned an important victory.
"We are taking care of business now and we just have to make sure we get our players ready for another testing weekend."
Hartlepool first-team coach Mick Wadsworth said: "Once we went down to 10 it made it very difficult but even then I thought we defended excellently.
"Referees' decisions change games and for the penalty my centre-half says he didn't touch him, he's very angry.
"It means he misses three games and I'm very angry about that.
"Then directly before their second goal there was a blatant foul on Michael Mackay. It drives you absolutely mental, the whole balance of decisions. It's not right.
"He stopped and held his hands up because the guy got across in front of him."
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