James McArthur has underlined the importance of a win against Southampton heading into the international break if Crystal Palace are to establish some momentum.

Goals from Roberto Pereyra and José Holebas condemned the Eagles to a 2-1 defeat at Watford, leaving them with three points from their opening three games.

But the 30-year-old believes the team has played well of late and fortunes can be turned around sooner rather than later with some improvements.

When asked what Palace must do to beat the Saints, who lost 2-1 to Leicester City, he said: “Keep doing the same things. We’ve played well in the first three games and we’re unfortunate to have three points.

“We pushed Liverpool all the way, against Watford we controlled a lot of the games but it’s about being clinical in both boxes.

“If we touch up on that there’s no reason why we can’t beat Southampton.

“We need to get a victory going into the international break and try to push up the table. It has been an average start points-wise, even if the performances are good.”

McArthur himself has withdrawn from international selection for Scotland ahead of the upcoming break as he nurses a niggling back injury.

Although, if he starts against Southampton then it'll be his 21st consecutive league start for Palace since January 2 - a run which coincidentally started against the same club.

The midfielder also commended Martin Kelly for his performance against the Hornets after deputising for the injured James Tomkins at centre half.

He added: “Hopefully he’ll [Tomkins] be back for us soon because he’s a big player.

“I must say Martin Kelly came in for us today at short notice, did excellent, and was a credit to himself and the club.

“Throughout pre-season he hasn’t played as much as he’d like but every single day in training he tries and trains as well as he can, making sure he’s ready.”