A 2-0 win over Reading has calmed the nerves of many Southampton fans up and down the country.
Southampton look in a more comfortable position and are continuing to go from strength to strength. Three wins on the bounce, most notably against Liverpool and Chelsea, and their survival hopes are looking better than ever.
The Saints seem to have found a new lease of life following the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino. After controversial chairman Nicola Cortese chose the Argentine as Nigel Adkins' successor, success did not come straight away.
However, 'the Sheriff' seems to have brought the best out of his side in many aspects of the game. The off the ball work has been magnificent as Pochettino has encouraged a high pressing game with an intense work rate to match.
Southampton are also retaining the ball for longer periods of time, creating more chances and most importantly, taking them. Two men very much responsible for this have been Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert, giving many England fans something to think about.
Prior to the Reading fixture, Rodriguez had started seven out of nine games under Pochettino, in comparison to the 11 out of 22 under Nigel Adkins. Rodriguez has clearly been given the opportunity to perform and he has done so with aplomb.
The pacey forward has scored in all three of Southampton's last wins. He is a man playing at the top of his game and it looks as though there is more to come from him. The goals he has scored have given him huge amounts of confidence.
Against Reading, Rodriguez was the stand-out performer and was unlucky not to score more than one, having rattled the crossbar and missed a one-on-one during the game.
Rodriguez's attributes are crucial to Premier League football - to be able to create room, to find a pass or produce a cross and to score goals on a consistent basis. Rodriguez is doing this and continues to improve.
Normally fairly static, just yards away, stands Southampton's talisman, Rickie Lambert. He currently stands as the top English goalscorer in the Premier League with 14 to date.
Two seasons ago Lambert was a top performer in League One, and no-one would predict where he is now. At the beginning of the season, Lambert was often criticised for being slightly one-dimensional and off the pace.
However, with seven games to go this fault-finding is out the window. He is one of the best for holding up the ball, moving players around him and he is flawless from the penalty-spot. Yet his talent goes beyond just his footballing skills as he has become somewhat of a linchpin for the Saints. He is the the sturdy cog within the Southampton wheel. Let the good work between these Englishmen continue.
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