Southampton were nervous early in season, admits Puncheon

The Saints winger scored the winning goal against Reading to lift Nigel Adkins' men out of the relegation zone and into their highest position of the season so far in 15th place
Southampton winger Jason Puncheon has attributed his side's upturn in form to his team-mates' improved mental state.

The Saints made a poor start to the season and after their 1-1 draw with Swansea on the 10th of November sat in 19th position with just five points.

However, they have won three of their last five games to now sit in 15th position, two points above the drop zone, a run of form Puncheon puts down to the squad's ability to come to terms mentally with the rigours of Premier League football.

"I think it was nerves to be honest," the 26-year-old told reporters.

"As a team coming into the Premier League we were all a bit nervous, a bit shaky. We need to find our feet, our rhythm, and we're beginning to do that now."
5/1 Southampton are 5/1 with William Hill to finish bottom of the Premier League this season

Puncheon hit the winner against Reading on Saturday and Saints boss is delighted to have the winger back in his team after a falling out with club owner Nicola Cortese had threatened the winger's future.

"We're demanding of people but we're also supportive," said Adkins.

"People have to fit in but we treat them as human beings; they have to be allowed to make mistakes and grow. He's matured as a person and as a footballer, so all credit to him."