Football

Southampton Back In Premier League: Russell Martin 'Overwhelmed' By Love And Support

Martin's side sealed their return to the top flight at the first attempt, with Adam Armstrong's strike enough to seal a 1-0 victory over Leeds United in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Martin guided Southampton back into the top flight
info_icon

Russell Martin admitted he was "overwhelmed by the love and support" from Southampton, after guiding the Saints back into the Premier League.  (More Football News)

Martin's side sealed their return to the top flight at the first attempt, with Adam Armstrong's strike enough to seal a 1-0 victory over Leeds United in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

The former Swansea City boss, who replaced Ruben Selles at St Mary's last June, secured his first promotion as a manager, having also done so five times as a player.

And Martin fought back tears as he reflected on his achievement.

"I feel really emotional, I feel overwhelmed by the love and support I've had over the past nine or 10 months - especially in the tougher times," he told Sky Sports. "The team have been so brave, and I'm really proud of them.

"I've enjoyed watching the team grow, and watching the players grow. I absolutely love that group of players. I'm so pleased for them because what we've asked them to do is not easy."

Meanwhile, Southampton skipper Jack Stephens paid tribute to his team-mates, who gave him his "best feeling in football".

"I'm so proud to be captain of this club. I'm so proud of the boys today, I think they've been unbelievable," the defender told Sky Sports. "I think we probably didn't play our best game today, but we showed a different side.

"A few people have doubted us over this season. Can we defend? Can we dig in? I think we really showed that today. The feeling I've got now is the best feeling I've ever had in football. Honestly, I'm just so emotional."

Matchwinner Armstrong added: "I don't know what to say. It's what we've been working for all year, we know how good the Championship has been this year.

"What a way to go up! I saw the space in behind [for the goal] and I knew if I put it across goal it was going to go in, so it was a nice one.

"It means everything. The gaffer and his staff came in in pre-season and put a marker down of what they wanted to see, and look at this. This is why we're footballers, we want to be involved in the biggest games, what a way to win."

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement