Jay Rodriguez said his first Premier League goal since March 2014 meant a huge amount to him.
The striker sprang off the bench in the second half against Sunderland to net a late goal and earn Saints a 1-1 draw, at St Mary's.
Rodriguez, who has had to endure some significant time out with injury in the last few seasons, last netted in the top flight in a 4-0 win over Newcastle, when he scored twice.
"It meant a lot," he said of his latest Premier League goal. "To score any goal means a lot to me. To get on the pitch was good and to score was even better."
Rodriguez is hoping his goal will give him the opportunity to kick on.
"It's been very long," he said of his journey back. "Maybe I need more opportunity, I think that's the main thing for me. I just want to play football, and to be out for so long, as I said I just want to play football.
"Any time I get on the pitch I'm buzzing. It's what I want to do, it's what I love. What I've been brought up to do is play football and that's all I want to do."
Rodriguez was pleased with how the team as a whole finished the game, as they bounced back from Jermain Defoe's late penalty to earn a point.
"I think at the end we finished strong," he said. "It was a difficult game. Sunderland did well, but towards the end I thought we maybe edged it a little bit, but that's football."