After penning a new five-and-a-half-year deal on Friday, James Ward-Prowse has set his sights on finishing the job he and his teammates have started this season.
The 20-year-old Academy graduate, whose new contract with the club runs until 2020, has played a big part in Saints’ memorable season so far, and is determined to end it on a high.
The England Under-21 international, speaking to Southampton’s official YouTube channel, believes the unity among the squad will have an important role in helping maintain the current form.
“None of us really expected that at the start of the season, but I think it’s credit to the group and the type of football club that we are that everyone sticks together,” he said.
“We’re all together aiming for the same objectives. It’s been a fantastic season so far and we’re very determined in the dressing room to finish the job off.
“I think we can achieve a lot. The club has taken massive strides in a short amount of time, from where we are now to a few years ago, and we’ve got to keep pushing and keep striving for success and not be happy with where we are.
“We’re a club full of the right ambition and determination and we’ve got the right people involved to make sure we get there, we have to go out there and apply ourselves right.”
Ward-Prowse joined the club as an eight-year-old, and has since risen through the ranks to make his presence felt at both first team and international level.
Now, the midfielder has reiterated his desire to help Saints take the next step and qualify for Europe – though he warned that the end-of-season run-in will be a tricky route to navigate for him and his teammates.
“The club have been fantastic to me, giving their all to make sure I am who I am today. I’m very thankful for that,” he explained.
“The club is going places. It’s third in the Premier League, we’re heading to European competition hopefully and I’m so happy here, it’s just the right place to be.
“The teams around us are some of the best teams in the world and they are going to be winning week-in-week-out. We’ve got to make sure we keep up with that. We’ve got a real good determination among the lads, whoever the opposition are home or away, that we’ve got the mentality and quality to win the game.”
Following a long lay-off with a broken foot sustained in the win over Garry Monk’s Swans back in September, Ward-Prowse made his return to the side in the 1-0 defeat at Burnley over the Christmas period.
With a number of impressive displays already under his belt since his comeback, he is now hopeful he will be able to register just his second goal for Saints since breaking into the first team.
“It was my first time back from a long-term injury so to have that to deal with was very difficult,” he said. “Hopefully the goal can come this weekend, the injury was a freak thing, it’s a good chance to get out against them again and rectify that.
“I should have had goals against Arsenal, but these things happen. I need that bit of luck, maybe a deflection or some sort of luck to get me going, and the confidence will come from that."