Defender Steven Caulker is determined to prove himself in the Premier League again after joining Saints on a season-long loan.
The 23 year-old admits the last couple of years have been frustrating on a personal level, but feels he has gained plenty from his experiences with Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers.
Now, having linked up with Ronald Koeman’s side ahead of the 2015/16 campaign, he’s confident he can prove his worth on the south coast.
“The last two years have been disappointing. I’ve learnt a lot from it and I try to take the positives,” he told youtube.com/southamptonfc. “I’ve learnt how to be at the bottom and deal with defeat.
“That’s never easy, but that sort of experience will hold me in good stead for the future. One thing for sure, when you’re down the bottom it takes a lot of courage to be out there week-in, week out.
“I feel I’ve got an older head on young shoulders. Especially mentally it has made me a stronger player, which is a big part of the game. I feel ready for this new challenge.
“It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down as soon as I heard from Les Ferdinand. I’m excited, I came and met the manager, had a look around and could see this club is an ambitious one.
“The last two years have been fantastic for the club and for me it’s a great opportunity to be part of that and prove myself as a top-six centre-back.”
Caulker came up against Koeman’s men on two occasions last season, suffering defeat both at St Mary’s and Loftus Road, and feels as though the style of play suits his game.
“We lost twice last year and I know they’re definitely a good team. They are a team that looked close. They had a really good bond between the fans and the players,” Caulker added.
“The style of football that the boys played last year was outstanding and they were rewarded with a chance in the Europa League.
“They played fantastic football and it’s a style I was quite used to at Swansea City. It’s an attractive style and one I look forward to being involved in.
“I feel comfortable with that style. I spoke with the manager and he explained what he wants from his players. He wants people at the back who are comfortable with the ball.
“I feel that’s part of my game, so I look forward to that and the challenge ahead.”