Southampton's leaky defence, which has shipped 30 goals in only 12 English Premier League matches, is finally finding some shape, says manager Nigel Adkins.
The Saints beat hosts Queen's Park Rangers - the only club below them in England's top flight - 3-1 at the weekend, and although they failed to keep a clean sheet, the much-needed win prompted a volley of optimism from under-fire Adkins.
"I think we have a good shape about ourselves from a defensive point of view," Adkins said.
"Maya (Yoshida) and Jose (Fonte) are forming a partnership together and it takes a period of time for everybody."
Signed from the Dutch league in the off-season, Yoshida has looked unsteady at the heart of Southampton's defence, and his confidence appears to taken a knock judging by a ponderous performance for Japan against Oman in a World Cup qualifier last week.
Adkins, though, is hailing the victory at Loftus Road as a turning point for the struggling Saints.
"The way the supporters were and the way the players were, we're together at this football club - and that's a big statement, I think," he told the club's website.
"There's a determination about (the players) with a growing maturity which you could see out there through young players who are responding to the challenge in a really positive way.
"(It) is very pleasing for the future of this football club. We're growing with our performances and there's a good belief about ourselves which is important."
Southampton remain second-bottom of the 20-team league, with eight points from their 12 matches - four more than QPR, but a point adrift of Aston Villa and Reading.
Manchester City lead the table, their 28 points one more that neighbours United's 27.
What do you make of Tommy Smith's decision not to play for the All Whites?Related story: (See story)