Summer signing Sadio Mane has backed Southampton to maintain their lofty position in the Premier League and challenge for a Champions League spot.
The Saints currently stand in second place in the table, having garnered 25 points from 11 games, conceding a mere five goals in the process.
And Mane, who has scored twice in eight appearances since his move from Red Bull Salzburg, sees no reason why his side should not be able to remain in the upper reaches of the standings in the coming months.
He told fifa.com: “In the Premier League there are always the three, four or five big teams which can be found at the top of the table, but I am glad that so far there are some teams up there that could be called a surprise, including us.
“However, we have to stay realistic, it will be hard to remain where we are. We will give our best to defend this place and I have no doubt we have the potential and will.”
Southampton’s form will be tested to the full in the coming weeks, with a trip to Aston Villa on November 24 being followed by clashes with Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
They then face a similarly tricky run of games around the New Year period when they take on Chelsea, the Gunners and United in consecutive Premier League games.
The Saints are 1.77 to win at Villa Park and 2.20 to keep a clean sheet.