James Ward-Prowse believes Southampton’s 3-1 victory over Sheffield United at St Mary’s was the perfect representation of the team’s recent improvement.
Trailing at half time, Saints responded with three second-half goals – a brace for Ché Adams and a 25th of the season for Danny Ings – to overwhelm the Blades.
It means Ward-Prowse and co. ended the campaign seven matches unbeaten, leapfrogging Everton to finish 11th in the table, just two points off the top half.
“It’s a sign of our development as a team,” the skipper said. “I think earlier in the season we wouldn’t get back into that game.
“We’d probably be a little bit slower with the ball, but there’s the belief in what we’re doing that we can get back into it.
“We don’t let our heads drop and I think that’s a really important thing as a team, and we’re growing all the time.
“It’s pleasing that in the last few weeks we’ve got back into games, even if we have gone a goal down, and that’s a real positive sign for us.
“Coming back from the restart, I think everybody was a bit unsure as to how it would go, but we set the tone with the win against Norwich and you can feel a real development around the team at the moment.
“I think we’re very good without the ball, but with the ball we’re showing really good, positive signs.
“We knew going into today that we were six unbeaten and we wanted to make sure we continued that and took some momentum into next year.”