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The England Under-21 midfielder is confident that the Saints will stop their poor run of form when they face Chelsea and are good enough to aim for a European qualification spot

James Ward-Prowse believes Southampton have the resources to finish in the top six of the Premier League after an unexpectedly good start to the season.

The Saints burst out the traps, only losing once in their opening 11 fixtures, but have since suffered a downturn in form - picking up five points from seven games in December.

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16/1 Southampton are 16/1 with BetVictor to finish in the top six
Academy graduate Ward-Prowse has featured in all 19 of the Saints' Premier League games this season and thinks that his side will bounce back from their recent poor form against Chelsea on New Year’s Day.

"The beauty of this time of year is that the next game is only around the corner. There will soon be a chance to rectify this result, starting against Chelsea," the midfielder told the Southern Daily Echo.

"It's a good place to push on from where we were last year, hopefully to a place in the top six. As long as we keep working hard in training I'm sure that's a possibility.

"The manager told us afterwards to keep doing what we're doing and the philosophy won't change. The sky's the limit for us.

"We've still got half the season to come and we'll spend each day trying to keep improving."

After 19 games last season the south-coast side were in the relegation zone with just 17 points, but a 2-2 draw against Chelsea in January proved to be the springboard to a mid-table finish.

"A year down the line from the last time we came here, I feel we’re a lot stronger in the way we approach games and the way we’re playing," Ward-Prowse added.

"The club’s taken massive strides in a short amount of time and that’s down to the players working hard to not only develop a good football team but a good football club."

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