Ward-Prowse targets Southampton improvement

The teenager is ready to make an "impact" for the Saints and says he is working hard in training after returning to the club after playing for England at the Under-20 World Cup

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse is hoping he can play a big role for the Saints next season after impressing for the club last term.

The 18-year-old became a regular feature in Mauricio Pochettino's side for the first time last term, making 19 appearances in all competitions.

However, he has returned from the Fifa Under-20 World Cup hungry to play an even greater part for the club.

"I want to improve on last year. I made 15 appearances in the league and a couple in the cup, so I'd like to double that," he told Southampton's official website.

"I'll work as hard as I can in pre-season like I did last year to try to get into the starting XI. I'm ready to impact on the team in any way I can."

Ward-Prowse will need to compete with the likes of recent signing Victor Wanyama for a starting berth. However, the midfielder is relishing the challenge and recognises that it is part of football.

"If a new player comes into the camp – like Steven Davis did last year – then you've got to battle it out," he continued.

"It's not going to be easy but you are going to have this throughout your whole career – players will come in, and managers will come and go. It's about how you deal with it.

"It's added competition and it's a challenge for me now to shrug him off so I can keep my place in the squad and get into the first XI."