Southampton: James Ward-Prowse desperate for game time

James Ward-Prowse

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse says he will not be happy with another year among the substitutes after his debut Premier League season.

Ward-Prowse started Saints' first match of the campaign against Manchester City but began just three more league games.

In total the teenager made 11 league substitute appearances and he is desperate to prove himself next season.

"I am only 18 but I'm not content sitting on the bench," Ward-Prowse told BBC Radio Solent.

Ward-Prowse came through Southampton's famed academy which produced players such as Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

This week he heads out to Turkey with England for the Under-20 World Cup ahead of what he hopes will be an important season for him at St Mary's.

"I don't think I've proved myself," he added. "I only would have proved myself when I'm playing week in, week out.

"Sitting on the bench is not what I'm about. I think I've got so much more to offer the team and the club and it's a horrible feeling having to sit on the bench and watch the likes of Luke (Shaw) doing well because you want to be out there contributing as well.

"The pressure is even greater this year. I'm 18 now, I'm no longer the young pup of the team when I was coming through.

"Now I'm almost established and I need to make that next step and challenge Jack (Cork) and Morgan (Schneiderlin) for a place in the team and hopefully establish myself in the side as I did at the start of last season."

Ward-Prowse admits that despite having limited playing time he found the rigours of being involved with the first team demanding but hopes a summer playing for England Under-20 will see him return to Southampton in fine shape.

"People may argue I haven't played massive amounts of games or 90 minutes week in, week out," he said.

"But it has still been physically demanding with all the extra training I've had to do and mentally it's been a massive year.

"You are in a first-team environment, you are in and around men, and the pressures of playing in the best league in the world against the best players in the world, and also the relegation fight towards the end, are huge," he added.

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