'Martin showed backbone and stuck to his principles through toughest times'

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Southampton beat Leeds United 1-0 in the Championship play-off final to return to the Premier League after a year away.

Saints' first win at Wembley since 2010 was more than deserved, with Russell Martin's men nullifying the Whites' attack for the third successive game, this time doing it on the big stage.

Key players such as Adam Armstrong, Flynn Downes, and Kyle Walker-Peters (to name a few) are rightly getting their plaudits. However, the manager and board should get lots of credit.

Martin showed backbone and stuck with his principles at the toughest of times, believing that his heavy-possession style would get us back to the top flight, so he should be congratulated for that and for getting the buy-in from the players.

Additionally, after two difficult losing spells and some heavy defeats, the board could've easily got rid of Martin, especially with many fans' patience thinning. But they trusted in the project and have been greatly rewarded.

No doubt next season will bring more challenging times, with questions already being raised about the style of play in the Premier League before the promotion party has even really started.

Nevertheless, fans must revisit this campaign as a reason to keep their faith.

Harry Tizard can be found at The Saints Score

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