James Ward-Prowse wants to play a big role in Southampton’s season.
The 18-year-old became a regular feature in Mauricio Pochettino’s side for the first time last term, making 19 appearances in all competitions.
However, he has returned from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup hungry to play an even greater part for the club.
“I want to improve on last year. I made 15 appearances in the league and a couple in the cup, so I’d like to double that,” he told Southampton’s official website.
“I’ll work as hard as I can in pre-season like I did last year to try to get into the starting XI. I’m ready to impact on the team in any way I can.”
Ward-Prowse will need to compete with the likes of recent signing Victor Wanyama for a starting berth.
However, the midfielder is relishing the challenge and recognises that it is part and parcel of football.
“If a new player comes into the camp – like Steven Davis did last year – then you’ve got to battle it out,” he continued.
“It’s not going to be easy but you are going to have this throughout your whole career – players will come in, and managers will come and go. It’s about how you deal with it.
“It’s added competition and it’s a challenge for me now to shrug him off so I can keep my place in the squad and get into the first XI.”