London - Southampton will be more motivated than ever to stay "miserly" at the back after losing England goalkeeper Fraser Forster to a knee injury for the rest of the season, the Premier League club's director of football said.
Still pushing for an improbable Champions League spot, the loss of Forster is a major blow to the south coast club sitting sixth in the standings.
Saints have conceded just 21 goals all season, fewer than any club in the top four flights of English soccer, thanks in large part to the 2.01 metre frame of stopper Forster.
But the 27-year-old damaged his left patellar tendon in Saturday's win over Burnley, leaving Southampton to rely on veteran goalkeeper Kelvin Davis for the run-in.
Davis came on for Forster against Burnley, in what was his first appearance in more than a year.
"No one will be any sadder than Kelvin Davis, who did an outstanding job replacing Fraser in such circumstances," director of football Les Reed said of the 38-year-old.
"Nobody could be better to step into the fray in terms of experience and ability.
"I am sure the team will now be even more motivated to ensure we stay miserly in front of our goal and ruthless at the other end."
The club said its medical staff were confident Forster will make a full recovery. However injuries of this type can generally take up to a year to heal fully.
Davis told local media he credits Southampton's goalkeeping coach with keeping him in top shape, and that despite being out of action for so long he would be ready to "flick the switch".
It is what Southampton need, being unable to recall their former number one choice goalkeeper Artur Boruc. The Pole is on loan at Championship (second tier) leaders and south coast neighbours Bournemouth.
With eight matches remaining, Southampton trail fourth-placed Manchester United by six points and leaders Chelsea by 14.