Puel delighted to see derby hero Rodriguez smiling
Claude Puel was delighted to see a smile on Jay Rodriguez's face after the forward's double helped Southampton to a come-from-behind 3-1 south coast derby win at Bournemouth.
Nathan Ake's early goal put Bournemouth ahead at the Vitality Stadium in Sunday's Premier League encounter, but Ryan Bertrand quickly restored parity before Rodriguez completed a fine team move to put the Saints in front after the break.
Rodriguez, who has struggled to force his way into the starting XI after coming back from ankle surgery last season, then capped off the win with a stunning, dipping 25-yard strike.
Saints boss Puel paid tribute to his side's showing, particularly in the second half, and reserved particular praise for Rodriguez.
"I am happy for the players and for Jay Rod," he told BBC Sport.
"It was difficult for Jay with his long injury and he came back step-by-step. He has played three or four games since the injury of Charlie Austin.
"He works well for the team each time and it is a pleasure to see him happy with two goals.
"Just before Christmas, it is a good thing, it is a good moment and well deserved. It was difficult in the first half, but in the second half we started well with a good spirit and energy and very good second half for us."
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was frustrated with the Cherries' showing and believes the midweek win over champions Leicester City may have taken its toll physically.
"We weren't at our normal level," he said. "Technically, we were below the standards we set.
"Their [equalising] goal was a key moment because we had been good value for our lead. It was a poor goal to concede.
"When you look back, maybe the Leicester game [a 1-0 win] took more out of us than we realised.
"I don't need reminding how difficult this league is, but the intensity levels are extreme. It's a bad day at the office for us but we have to bounce back."