Southampton's Puel aiming for top-half finish

Britain Soccer Football - Southampton v Crystal Palace - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium - 5/4/17 Southampton manager Claude Puel Reuters / Peter Nicholls Livepic

REUTERS - Southampton are targeting a top-half finish in the Premier League table after beating Crystal Palace 3-1 on Wednesday, manager Claude Puel said ahead of Saturday's trip to West Bromwich Albion.

Southampton secured their first win in three games when they defeated Palace at St. Mary's stadium and moved up to ninth in the table, seven points behind eighth-placed West Brom albeit with two games in hand.

"Every game it is difficult to know the scenario of each game...But I think we stayed with a good performance and it is now important to stay in the top half of the table," Puel told British media.

"This was a very important game because other teams behind us came back, so it was important to take these points. After we have to play against West Bromwich, and it is an objective to try and get a good result away against this team, who are a difficult team with confidence."

Puel is hoping that defender Ryan Bertrand, who missed the Palace game due to a hamstring injury, will return for the game against West Brom. "He felt something with his hamstring and he cannot take the risk. I hope so, we'll see," Puel said.

Southampton will be looking to win two league games in a row for only the third time this season when they travel to the Hawthorns, where they have not won since 2013.

(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich)