Saints may now be sitting pretty in mid-table but earlier in the season many had tipped them for the drop after a dreadful start to life back in the top-flight.
The defence came under scrutiny as they secured just one win in their opening 11 matches, with much of the blame falling on the broad shoulders of centre-back Hooiveld.
The Dutch defender lost his starting berth as a result but is back in the side and has looked rejuvenated of late - something that has left him feeling quite smug.
"I like to prove people wrong," he said. "If you look at my career, I've proven people wrong everywhere I have been.
"I did at Celtic and then in Copenhagen they didn't want me.
"At the end of the day, I am standing there with a smile on my face and that is football.
"If you're going to look at all my games at the beginning, it was not that poor
"People were saying it was poor, it was bad and they had to blame someone. Oh, and that is me.
"We're now over that, it is nice to play and it not like I am amazing now and before I was terrible, you know?"
- Sports & Recreation