Southampton defender Frazer Richardson believes the Championship leaders have all the ingredients required to secure a return to the Premier League.
Nigel Adkins' side are currently five points clear of West Ham and eight above Cardiff and Middlesbrough in the fight to secure a berth among England's elite.
Richardson feels that an opening day win away to Leeds United laid the foundations for their success, and has highlighted the impressive fitness levels among the squad for helping Saints pick up crucial points this term.
There is no doubting the quality on show in the St Mary's squad, but the 29-year-old former Leeds and Charlton player insists they also have the necessary steel in their ranks to compete when the going gets tough.
He told the club's official website: "Winning against my old team Leeds in the first game was a great springboard into the season.
"It was good for morale and belief too, because we knew that Leeds were going to be one of the strongest teams in the division.
"But we have moved on from there and as well as the quality of our football, the fitness of the side has become a major factor.
"The longer games go, the stronger we become as we proved against Brighton and before that at Coventry.
"When the going gets rough we have a strong desire which kicks in. We can be aggressive without being nasty, and we have the quality in the side to play ourselves out of trouble."