Liam Dawson revealed Hampshire’s relief after their County Championship division one survival was confirmed.
And the all-rounder insists the pressure is now off his side as their tussle with Yorkshire at Headingley hots up.
Dawson, who has been named in England’s 16-man squad for the five-match ODI series in Sri Lanka next month, took two for 49 as the hosts reached 172 for four in their second innings on Wednesday.
Building on a first-innings lead of 27, the 199-run advantage puts Yorkshire in a powerful position at the midway point of the penultimate clash of the season.
However, Dawson believes the shackles are off Hampshire – who now cannot be caught by strugglers Lancashire or Worcestershire.
The 28-year-old left-arm spinner said: ‘Yorkshire are in a very good position.
‘The wicket was hard to bat on for the first day and a bit but it’s probably flattened out a bit now.
‘We’re safe, so the pressure is off us. We haven’t got to worry about relegation.
‘It’s a tough situation in the game but we’re very happy not to be relegated from the position we were in a few weeks ago.’
Hampshire resumed on day two at 79 for five and owed much to Tom Alsop (24) and Gareth Berg (25) for edging them up to 157 all out.
Tim Bresnan, 33, was the chief destroyer as he returned figures of five for 28 for the hosts.
Adam Lyth (60 not out) then helped hammer home Yorkshire’s advantage before the close.
It did little to dampen Dawson’s spirits, though, as he celebrated survival and his latest England call-up for the Sri Lanka series which begins in Dambulla on October 10.
He added: ‘It’s a great squad to be involved in and there’s a great series coming up.
‘There’s also the World Cup next year, so it’s good to be in and around the squad again.
‘I was realistic this summer. I wasn’t expecting to be in the squad.
‘In England, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid have done a very good job on wickets which don’t spin too much.
‘But in the sub-continent, you might get the odd wicket that will spin.’
Full England squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Click here for the full scorecard from Hampshire’s visit to Yorkshire.