Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse says he's not content sitting on the bench and wants first-team football next season.

The 18-year-old started only four games all season and made 11 league substitute appearances.

But despite being so young, Ward-Prowse doesn't want to sit on the bench at St.Mary's.

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

Ward-Prowse is yet another graduate from Southampton's famed academy that has produced players such as Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The midfielder has had to watch fellow youngster Luke Shaw get regular football while he sits on the bench but Ward-Prowse, who heads out to Turkey today to play in the FIFA Under 20 World Cup for England, feels that he hasn't been given the opportunity to impress at Southampton.

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."

Despite Ward-Prowse's lack of first-team action, he admits he has found it tough at times to deal with the rigours of first-team football. But after a summer with England Under 20's he hopes to return to Southampton in a good state.

"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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