Maya Yoshida was delighted to be back on the St Mary’s pitch yesterday after a long summer away from the club.
The Japanese defender reported back late for training following his World Cup exploits, in which his country defied the odds to progress to the knockout stage at the expense of Poland and Senegal.
Yoshida admits the 3-2 defeat to Belgium, in which Japan led 2-0, left him devoid of energy, but now he’s back and itching to get stuck into Premier League action.
“It’s good to be back on the pitch, and to get back my feeling and fitness as well,” he said.
“It can be a little bit difficult, because I came back late and we’d already played a few games.
“I played extra games in the World Cup, but now I need to get back my fitness and also rest very well mentally.
“After such a big tournament, I lost so much energy – physically and mentally.
“Now that I’m back I feel really hungry to play football. I want to play for Southampton and that’s an important mentality to have.”