Alan Pardew hailed Southampton striker Lee Barnard after his double secured a fine 2-0 win at League One leaders Norwich.
Barnard scored his first goals for the Saints since his recent move from Southend to end the Canaries' record run of 11 consecutive home wins.
"This was a big day for Lee in many ways because he has had a slow start here," said Pardew.
"He missed a big chance against Brentford and another one in the home game against Stockport. He's had to move house, move his life and he's had a tough time.
"But here he showed what a good player he is. He worked very hard for us, got two goals that were typical of him and I thought he was the best player on the pitch."