Hughes: Southampton giving everything to avoid drop
Mark Hughes believes his Southampton side proved they are giving everything to stay in the Premier League by beating Bournemouth 2-1 on Saturday.
The Saints moved within one point of 17th-place Swansea City after Dusan Tadic struck in each half to sink the Cherries, who had equalised through Josh King, at St Mary's Stadium.
It was Southampton's first league win since February and a first on home soil since November, and they still have to play Swansea in a match sandwiched between fixtures against Everton and Manchester City.
And Hughes vowed that his side are up for the fight in their battle against the drop.
"We couldn't have anyone believing that we would get out of this situation unless we really wanted it. Three points was the goal and it was the total focus of our preparation for the game," he told a post-match news conference.
"When it was happening, it wasn't quite enjoyable for any of us in the stadium but now everyone can look back and see that we are giving everything to stay in this league."
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) April 28, 2018
Dušan Tadić's double has won it at St Mary's!! pic.twitter.com/nXpPA2NUaU
King's equaliser shortly before half-time forced Southampton to rally again after the break but Hughes was delighted with the overall performance.
"I thought we were good value in the first half to lead at the break," he added.
"It was disappointing to concede against the run of play at the end of the half and a little bit of a concern because at that point I thought we were quite comfortable; you worry how that could have affected us.
"For the second half we came out with real intent. In the end, it was a bit of a rollercoaster for everyone but we’ve been able to get the job done with real determination.
"There were some fantastic saves from Alex [McCarthy] at the death."
Bournemouth have now won just once in 10 league matches, and boss Eddie Howe – whose side are six points clear of Saints – was unhappy with his side's ball retention.
"I think it's difficult to say what we deserved. Overall, I'm disappointed with the performance," he said.
"For a footballing team, I thought we gave the ball away cheaply so it was difficult to get the control we wanted from there.
"The game was there for us to exert more influence on, but we were wasteful with the ball and that was our biggest downfall."