Fabian Delph felt Manchester City offered a suitable response to three winless games in the 3-1 Premier League victory over Southampton.
England midfielder Delph has endured an injury-ravaged start to life at the Etihad Stadium but he marked his full debut for Manuel Pellegrini’s team with a goal after Kevin De Bruyne gave the hosts a ninth-minute lead.
The defensive frailties that were so brutally exposed during last weekend’s 4-1 humbling against Liverpool again reared their head either side of Southampton striker Shane Long reducing the arrears after 49 minutes.
But Aleksandar Kolarov netted a typically rasping left-footed strike to settle the nerves and, on the back of Wednesday’s 1-0 Champions League loss at Juventus, Delph was happy to end a difficult week on a positive note.
He Sky Sports: “It was a very important game. We needed to bounce back – onwards and upwards.
“That’s what it was about – giving a reaction for the manager and staff who are working week in, week out and for the fans as well
“I thought we did that and we can go home happy. The most important thing was to get three points.”
Delph impressed on his long-awaited first start for City, with hamstring woes having hindered his progress, and he was delighted to see his 20th-minute shot skid home via a deflection off Virgil van Dijk.
“It was very sweet for me to get my first goal,” he added.
“Hopefully I can tweak a few things, going forward and with my passing, and keep pushing on.
“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for me because it’s been stop-start, but training with these players can only help me.
“Football has ups and downs but we’ve got more than enough quality in the locker to bounce back from difficult weeks.”