Russell Martin said he was not “an exciting appointment” after leading Southampton back to the Premier League.

The head coach from Brighton saw his side beat Leeds 1-0 in the Championship play-off final.

He said: “I feel really emotional about it.

“I feel overwhelmed by the love and support I’ve had over the last nine, ten months, especially in the tougher times but the support of everyone, for Jason (Wilcox, director of football) and the board to give me the job in the first place, I feel we had to do this to justify their decision, to validate it.

“So I’m so pleased for them because it was not an exciting appointment for them, it’s not.

“I finished tenth at Swansea, we had a really clear way of doing things at MK (Dons) and here, so for them to take me on was really brave.

“The team have been so brave and I’m really grateful and I’m really proud of them.”

Albion are undefeated on their six trips to St Mary’s in the Premier League, winning two of the last three, but had not beaten Saints at the Amex until the 2022-23 campaign.

Adam Lallana, who recently parted company with Albion but is keen to keep playing, was among those supporting Southampton from the stand.