James Ward-Prowse says manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has given him the confidence to flourish, after netting his fourth goal in eight games during the win over Fulham at St Mary’s.
The Saints midfielder was on hand to put Saints 2-0 up in the first half, turning home from close range after bursting into the box to follow up Sergio Rico’s parried save from Nathan Redmond’s curling strike.
It is no coincidence that the arrival of Hasenhüttl has given him a new lease of life in central midfield.
james ward-prowsei'm getting forward and i've got a licence to do that under the new manager.
“It’s nice to get on the scoresheet. I think that’s the way I feel at the moment, I’ve got the confidence that the manager has given me and I’m playing in my natural position,” Ward-Prowse said.
“I’m getting forward and I’ve got a licence to do that under the new manager. I’m enjoying the run and hopefully there’s more to come before the end of the season.
“He wants to play quick, direct, attacking football and I was a little bit more advanced tonight, so I knew I had to get into the box.
“I was anticipating Redmond to score with his quality but the keeper has made a save and I’ve just tried to be a bit of a striker and get a poacher’s finish.”
Saints now head to Old Trafford this weekend, buoyed by victory over Claudio Ranieri’s men and with the confidence to try to build some momentum.
Ward-Prowse added: “We’re out the bottom three for now, but we want to make sure that we stay there and, with the character we’ve got in the dressing room, the resolute defending and the togetherness, going places like that isn’t scary for us.
"It’s a great challenge, it’s a great place to play football and we’ve got full belief we can pick up some points.”