'I burst into tears with the emotion of it all' - Benali

Southampton fans celebrate
[Getty Images]

Former Southampton full back Francis Benali says Sunday's Championship play-off final "was just the most incredible day" for Saints fans.

Benali, who made 373 appearances for the club during his 16-year spell, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "When the whistle went at full-time, I completely burst into tears with the emotion of it all. What an occasion!

"Our defending was outstanding and as a team we really limited Leeds United to very few chances. We managed to find that edge to get the result.

"Adam Armstrong has had an absolutely brilliant season too, so it was fitting that it was him who scored the winning goal. It was just the most incredible day."

Southampton have returned to the top flight at the first time of asking, but Benali says the club and Russell Martin will need to build on this team if they want to have a successful campaign.

"Once the celebrations and emotions of Sunday have settled, the board will be turning their minds to a Premier League season and how they will go about securing status in it and not being relegated again," he added.

"We saw this season how tough it is for those promoted teams so there is work to be done."

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