Graziano Pelle: Southampton striker relief at scoring return

Graziano Pelle
Pelle (right) signed for Saints for an undisclosed fee from Feyenoord last summer

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle says he never doubted his touch in front of goal would return, after scoring for the first time in 15 league games.

The Italian's goal in Saints' 2-0 victory over Hull was his first since he scored against Everton in December.

"In the last nine games where I haven't scored I have hit the post maybe eight times," Pelle, 29, said.

"It helped me understand I was still getting chances and to always believe and have faith in what I was doing."

Pelle's last goal for Southampton was in the FA Cup fourth-round defeat by Crystal Palace in January - 10 games ago - but he did score for Italy in their drawn friendly against England a fortnight ago.

Southampton's remaining games
Stoke (away)
Tottenham (home)
Sunderland (away)
Leicester (away)
Aston Villa (home)
Manchester City (away)

And Pelle, who joined Saints from Feyenoord last summer, is grateful for the support the club's fans gave him during his barren run in the Premier League.

"I got really happy after I scored the goal because the stadium was waiting so much for the moment, so it was a release for everybody," he added to BBC Radio Solent.

"It was really nice but especially for those who always believed in me."

Sixth-placed Saints need one more point to surpass their previous highest total in the Premier League and Pelle, who has scored 13 goals for the club, hopes he can end his first season in England on a high.

"It's a long, tough season and is not always easy," he said. "I have to take this season in a good way to improve for the next one. I feel really good and hope it will be a nice ending.

"Every team I play for I want to achieve something special and we are close to that."

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