Southampton manager Nigel Adkins was buoyed by what he saw against Tottenham yesterday despite the fact his side fell to a seventh Barclays Premier League loss in nine matches.
Saints looked dreadful in the first half at St Mary's and deservedly went in at half-time trailing to goals from Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey.
The south-coast side did, though, return reinvigorated after the break and, having pulled one back through Jay Rodriguez, were unfortunate not to take a point from the match.
"We could have scored more. We had them on the rack, but unfortunately we ran out of time," Adkins said.
"The second half was very good, I think, and we gave ourselves the opportunity to win the game.
"What we did in the second half we had wanted to do in the first half so let's give Spurs some credit because they slowed the game down very well.
"I think we had good possession up until the final third, where we just couldn't find the breakthrough - which is something that we talked about at half-time, but in the second half it was a good performance from the players.
"We wanted to get on the front foot. Nathaniel Clyne put a great challenge in on Bale in the early stages and you start to think things might go your way.
"We got on the ball and moved it because we wanted to get a high tempo going, which is what we did in the second half."
While Saints have just four points to show from their opening nine games, yesterday's result moved Tottenham up to fourth.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas was pleased by the desire his team showed and dedicated victory to football administrator Alex Carroll following the death of his mother.
"He is a person that represents a lot to the team so we wish him the best and hope he recovers from his great loss," the Portuguese said.
"Obviously I am happy for what we did in the game and certainly it was a good first half.
"We kept the ball well, managed to create lots of opportunities and always looked in control of the game.
"I am extremely happy for that and what we spoke about at half-time was that only a 3-0 scoreline would put a game like this to bed because Southampton had nothing to lose.
"They came out very, very strongly in the second half. As soon as they scored, the game changes and makes it more difficult.
"It was very, very similar to the game we played at Old Trafford (3-2 win over Manchester United last month) when we had an extremely good first half in terms of keeping the ball and playing.
"But in the second half we showed that desire to defend and hold onto the result."