Southampton defender Maya Yoshida has admitted he did not expect to establish himself at the club so soon.
Yoshida has enjoyed an impressive debut year in England, making 29 Premier League appearances following a three million pound move from Eredivisie outfit VVV-Venlo.
And the Japan international says he is thankful to Nigel Adkins and his managerial successor Mauricio Pochettino for showing faith in him.
“To be honest I didn’t expect to get a big chance so early,” he said. “I was hoping I could get a really big chance against Arsenal but after then I have kept playing well until now.
“Playing football is the most important thing and I’m very grateful to Nigel and Mauricio so I will just keep going.
“We have played well, are organised defensively and when we are attacking we show good risk management with Corky [Jack Cork] and Morgan [Schneiderlin] playing very well.”
Southampton could take a significant step towards securing their top-flight status when they meet West Brom on Saturday.