After a successful return to the Premier League, Saints can continue to grow in the top flight, says Morgan Schneiderlin.
Schneiderlin has enjoyed a perfect first taste of England’s highest level, having played regularly and become a key part of the side that finished in 14th place.
On an individual note, he finished as the division’s form player in terms of interceptions and tackles, but it was the team’s overall contribution which has left the Frenchman feeling optimistic about next season and the years that follow.
"It was an amazing season,” he described. “As a group, we wanted to show everyone that we have a place in the Premier League. I think that, especially with the people we've played in the second half of the season, we have showed that we deserve to be here for a long time.”
Speaking after the 1-1 draw with Stoke City on the final game of the season, Morgan expressed his happiness at the way in which the team showed a positive attitude to the very last kick of the campaign.
"Of course, we wanted to win, but I think we showed a good spirit,” he said. “It was difficult to break Stoke down but we were able to fight and come back into the game. Hopefully we can come back stronger next year and have an even better season.”
Schneiderlin was boosted by news of Executive Chairman Nicola Cortese’s plans to push the club on once more in the summer, and that good vibe has spread throughout the club.
"This week we showed that everyone is pulling in the same direction,” he highlighted. “That is very important for a football club. It's a very hard thing to find.”
Morgan will turn his immediate attentions to a well-earned break from football, but vowed to be ready to hit the ground running upon his return to Southampton.
"For the first two weeks I am going to switch off completely and think about something else – although I'm probably going to watch the Champions League final!,” he said.
“After that, I am going to switch off from football, but I'll prepare myself at home by doing the necessary thing so that I can come back in pre-season to be focused right away on having a long campaign and doing the best I can."