Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse has said that there is a confidence amongst the players that “must be taken into the first game”.
Ward-Prowse, who has recently signed a new five-year deal at the club, certainly seems in an optimistic mood ahead of the new season having recently been called up to the England senior squad.
He says that although it will be strange for the squad not to be together until a couple of days before their first Premier League game at Crystal Palace due to international fixtures, they will be ready for the first game of the season.
“Building something special”
There is real belief amongst Saints fans that manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is putting together a squad that may bring success back to St Mary’s.
Last seasons 11th place finish was the clubs’ highest finish since the 2016/17 season and the additions of Kyle Walker-Peters and Mohammed Salisu are looking like shrewd business from Southampton.
James Ward-Prowse’s recent form has been nothing short of exceptional and both he and Danny Ings are amongst a number of players who will be playing in the UEFA Nations League next week.
They will not be due back until a couple of days before Southampton’s season opener at Selhurst Park.
Asked how much hard work would be put in for the trip to Palace, Ward-Prowse told the club website: “It’s going to be a bit strange because we won’t be together a lot beforehand. Everybody is kind of here, there and everywhere.
“We all have to maintain our focus and make sure that when we come back from international duty, we are all ready to go. It’s come round quick and we are all raring to go.
“You have to go ahead with the schedule and crack on. There’s a real focus amongst us and a real confidence that we are building something special.
“There’s a real buzz around the place, so we want to make sure we take that into the first game.”
“Everybody is clicking”
The Saints’ first pre season friendly took place on Saturday against Swansea City, which they won 7-1.
Ward-Prowse scores 2 of the goals and speaking about the match, he said:
“I think it was a tough test for us but good to get the first game out of the way and blow off a few of the cobwebs we’ve had.
“I think the main thing was implementing the stuff we had worked on during the week, you can see everybody is clicking together now and we are putting things into place.
“There’s a real understanding amongst everybody now in terms of how we play. We’ve improved our game without the ball and with the ball more importantly.”
Southampton's next freindly takes place on Tuesday when they face Coventry City.