Ben Reeves hopes to remain in First Team contention after making his Barclays Premier League debut at Everton last weekend.
The 20-year-old was drafted into Nigel Adkins' squad for the trip to Everton after coming on as a substitute in the Capital One Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday four days earlier.
Previously, though, Reeves had spent the early part of the 2012-13 campaign with Saints' Under-21 squad, featuring heavily in their pre-season matches and opening league fixtures.
And the utility man told Saints Player this week that he is pleased to have forced his way into the gaffer's thinking having been involved with the First Team on a number of occasions last season.
"There's been a massive change of events for me," he admitted.
"It was a bad start to the season – I was ill at the start [of the campaign] and was with the Under-21s when I hoped to start with the First Team after last year's progress.
"Hopefully I've showed that I'm strong enough to bounce back, and I hope I get more and more chances with the First Team so I'll be pushing for that.
"I got on against Sheffield Wednesday and then against Everton, so it was really good for me to get two games under my belt. I've got a bit more experience and now I feel ready.
"I said to the manager that hopefully I'll get a chance and I'll take it again – and, if I get a chance to start, that I'll keep my place in the team."
Less than 48 hours after making his top-flight bow, Reeves was involved in the Under-21s' narrow defeat to their Stoke City counterparts at Staplewood.
That loss ended the Development Squad's unbeaten start to their Barclays U21 Premier League campaign, leaving the midfielder to rue his team's misfortune.
"I thought we kept the ball well but we didn't really create enough chances – that was the only problem," he said after the game.
"We got close to it, so it's unlucky that we lost 1-0. We pressed and pressed for a chance, and we're just unlucky we didn't get it.
"There was massive talk before the game [about the unbeaten record], so it's a blow that we've lost it now.
"But I think the lads will bounce back from this, and hopefully we'll win the next game and the one after that, as well."