Nigel Adkins believes Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana is the best player in the Championship as Nigel Clough branded Derby County's performance in the 4-0 defeat at St Mary's as 'not good enough'.
Lallana helped to inspire Southampton to victory against the Rams and scored the third goal of the game as Adkins' side returned to the top of the table.
Jos Hooiveld, Aaron Martin and Tadanari Lee were also on target for the Saints and Adkins was in a buoyant mood after the game.
Adkins said: "You can see our confidence shining through. It was a good win, with four excellent goals at home.
"It was an outstanding goal from Adam Lallana. One word sums him up - class. For me he is the best player in the league. He is top drawer."
Adkins also reserved praise for Lee, who scored a stunning goal to open his Saints account, adding: "Tadanari Lee: what a fantastic goal. He has come in from a different continent and has settled so well.
"He has applied himself in the right manner, is a really nice person, works really hard and is a talented, talented player.
"I think there is a lot more to come from him."
Derby still linger in mid-table with just four away wins this season and manager Clough said his side did not play well enough.
He said: "We played well at the end of the first half and the start of the second but apart from that it was not good enough.
"You have got to get a goal when you are on the front foot and when we conceded the second that did us in.
"One positive is Nathan Tyson. His movement was excellent and I was very pleased with his contribution.
"If he continues to stay fit he will be a very important player for us towards the end of the season."