Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has his sights set on a top-six finish after his 10 men held on to defeat West Ham 1-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.
Defender Maya Yoshida’s early goal proved decisive as the Saints earned a home victory despite Victor Wanyama’s third red card of the season in the second half.
Koeman sees the win as a crucial step towards Southampton’s goal of bettering last season’s seventh-placed finish.
“It is a great win,” said Koeman. “West Ham had five points more, now the gap is only two points and we are back fighting for what is our ambition.
“We will try to do it even better than last season. That is very difficult because ending the season in seventh position in the table was fantastic but we have good players, a good team, we have a really good belief and confidence at the moment.
“We are looking forward to the rest of the season – if Leicester can be the first, maybe Southampton can be the sixth.”
Southampton have kept five consecutive Premier League clean sheets and travel Swansea City next Saturday.