Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino says he has been buoyed at the speed that his side are developing under him.
Pochettino tasted his second league win in eight games as they beat Liverpool 3-1 to move seven points from the relegation zone.
"I do think I have an intelligent team," said the Argentine, who took over at St Mary's in January.
"The players are adapting to my ideas and things are going faster than I thought."
Morgan Schneiderlin and Rickie Lambert put Southampton in front against Liverpool.
Philippe Coutinho pulled one back for the Reds but Jay Rodriguez secured the south coast club's win with a late third.
"We are really happy and satisfied with the result," added Pochettino, whose appointment was not popular as the Saints sacked Nigel Adkins following two consecutive promotions. "Sometimes you do the same kind of work and have the same feeling about a game but you don't get the victory.
"We have been on a trajectory which I am very proud of and I really want to congratulate my players as they fully deserved the win. I am the kind of person that thinks that one can always improve. We still have a lot of work in front of us."
Southampton are seven points clear of third-from-bottom Wigan, who have two games in hand, and Pochettino would not be drawn on a points target which he believes will secure survival.
"I don't really know," he said.
"What I am really focused on is preparing well for the next game against Chelsea and getting the three points."