Southampton’s remarkable start to the season has come as no surprise to Ryan Bertrand.
And the left-back believes the club’s “world-class” set-up means their fine form can continue.
Many expected Saints to struggle this term after a summer of upheaval on the south coast, with manager Mauricio Pochettino followed out of the club by a host of key players.
Words such as meltdown and crisis were bandied around, yet Ronald Koeman’s side have made a mockery of such talk with their incredible start to the season.
Southampton will start November second in the Barclays Premier League thanks to Saturday’s 1-0 win against Stoke and, while most on-watchers are shocked, it comes as little surprise to summer acquisition Bertrand.
“Probably from the outside (you could not have predicted this) when you see a club lose a lot of players and a manager – a manager more-so, for me,” the on-loan Chelsea left-back said.
“But the people behind the scenes at Southampton have brought in a world-class manager and world-class players.
“As soon as I came in and saw the players, saw everyone training and what they’re capable of, it’s not a surprise to me.
“A lot of people can talk on the outside about how we’re going to finish or what’s going to happen throughout the season, but the only people who can control it is us.
“As long as we keep working hard and doing the right things well, we’re coming out on top at the minute.”
Southampton may find themselves second only to Chelsea, but few expect them to end up in such a lofty position come the end of the season.
Bertrand was coy when asked about a potential top-four finish, but he sees no reason why they cannot keep this fantastic campaign going.
“I don’t see why not,” the left-back said. “It’s no fluke.
“I think we’ve proved that over time, we’ve been consistent with our victories, consistent with our goals, consistent with our clean sheets. It’s up to us now just to keep it going.”
Saturday’s win felt particularly important given more eyes than usual were on Southampton following their 8-0 annihilation of Sunderland.
“Having won 8-0 we were telling ourselves that if we did come out and lose this week it means nothing,” Bertrand said.
“So there’s that added pressure to go out and put a performance in. The boys did that well and we got another three points and another clean sheet. I think we fully deserved the win.”
Stoke will not have long to wait to avenge their defeat, given they host Southampton in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.
Charlie Adam concedes Koeman’s men were the better side at St Mary’s, but he is confident Stoke can make amends at the Britannia Stadium.
“We learn from it and we’ll go again Wednesday night when we play them again in the cup,” the Stoke midfielder said.
“It will be a difficult game but we’re at home and one we need to go and show something better than we did here.
“We had half-chances, but they were in control of the game and we never got close enough to them in the right areas.
“We paid the price with the goal but we’ve got a tough game against them again on Wednesday and then West Ham so we have to be ready and learn from our mistakes.”