Ralph Hasenhuttl believes Southampton’s “character, mentality and passion” gave them their win over Tottenham.
Danny Ings scored the only goal of the game as Hasenhuttl’s side spoiled Spurs’ start to 2020, while continuing their own rebirth.
“It was a tough game against a very good opponent,” the Saints manager told Match of the Day. “A difficult game for us.
“But the guys did a fantastic job. In the first half we had a few good moments and in the second half it was more fighting.
“I think I must praise the team for this unbelievable character, mentality and passion. The whole stadium was flowing today. When it is like this, it makes it really fun to play in.
“We were a little bit afraid of the long balls from Toby Alderweireld. So in the second half it was better and we could stop them a little more. We could attack from all sides.”
Hasenhuttl believes match-winner Ings’ goal showed how full of confidence the Saints striker is.
“It was fantastic. Such a goal you make when you have lots of self confidence. This time of the season is unbelievable.”
At the other end, Saints were able to keep a second clean sheet in three games – the other coming against another high-profile opponent, Chelsea, on Boxing Day.
That defensive form is part of the reason the club have now risen to joint-10th in the table, and Hasenhuttl is delighted with it.
“It is a fantastic job. This is only possible if you defend with the discipline that we did today.
“Until the last line we were very committed. Everybody was brave and on the front foot. Even when we won the ball we tried to play football.
“If you are brave then you deserve to get something and today we got a lot. It was important for us that we start winning at home especially against a strong side. It was not undeserved.”