Jose Fonte has hailed fellow centre-back Maya Yoshida for his performance during Southampton's 1-0 victory over Hull City at the KC Stadium on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old Fonte scored the only goal of the game in the second half to help the Saints to all three points and push them up to eighth in the Premier League.
However, Fonte believes that his defensive team-mate Yoshida deserved much of the credit for the win in East Yorkshire for his "excellent" display.
"I thought Maya was excellent," he told the Southern Daily Echo.
"Very, very good, very strong, good in the air - he was faultless, so great credit to him.
"(Nikica) Jelavic and (Shane) Long are two of the best strikers in the Premier League in my opinion.
"They work very hard, they don't give you a second of rest, and tonight was the same. So it was a hard night for us, but I felt in general we dealt well with them."
Fonte was also pleased with the Saints' overall performance against Hull and believes that the team showed their character in grinding out the victory.
"They're a very good team," he added. "I've got a lot of respect for Steve Bruce and the way he sets up his team.
"We knew it would be one of the hardest games of the season away from home.
"We dug deep, I thought we showed a lot of character and desire and belief in the way we play, and we got the reward with the three points and a very important clean sheet."