Morgan Schneiderlin’s transformation into a Premier League player has been years in the making.
The Frenchman, who earlier this week extended his stay at Southampton until 2017 is currently rated as one of the hardest working players in England’s top-flight, and having added goals to his game, is now a valuable asset to Mauricio Pochettino’s squad.
23 year-old Schneiderlin revealed that a number of people have helped him along the way, so it would be unfair to pick out just one after committing his future to the club.
“I’ve taken bits from every manager I have had since I was five years-old so I’m grateful to a lot of coaches,” he told the national press.
“I don’t pick any one person, even in my time at Southampton, because every manager has brought something to me. It’s really not fair to pick Alan Pardew for example as the one man for example because when I first came here he was saying to me that I never tackle and I wanted to prove him wrong!
“The most important thing for me is to win tackles and help my teammates, that’s it. It’s not about how many tackles I win in a game, that’s not really my ambition when I play on the pitch, but if I can prove wrong a few people that doubted me then I’m happy.”
Schneiderlin has evolved his game by playing in the lower leagues, but was always confident of fulfilling his potential in the Premier League.
“I was always confident to be able to carry that through,” he said. “I was always told one day I could be a Premier League player, but I need to work on some things and that’s all I’ve ever done and at the training ground I work hard every day to improve. There’s still more to come from me. I’m only 23 I see room for improvement, and hopefully I will become an even better player.
“I have changed as much physically as I have mentally,” he continued. “I needed to improve on my fitness to be able to run more so I did that. Mentally as well because when you are young you get spells of thinking you can’t play a certain way all the time for this reason, but you learn how to get through it. Now, for example, I know how to manage bad days and good ones which is something I couldn’t do in previous years, I’m happy for that, but it only comes from playing experience.”
Morgan struck his fourth goal of the season in the defeat at St James’ Park last weekend, and having had time to reflect on that game, he feels the squad are raring to go again for Saturday’s clash with bottom-of-the-table QPR.
“We had a few meetings this week to see where we needed to improve and to be honest when we watched the game again we thought we did quite well,” Schneiderlin highlighted.
“Even after we scored, they had very few chances, yes they put a bit more pressure on us, but we kept a solid shape and some mistakes cost us.
“In the second half, the gaffer told us they had one shot and scored two goals, so football is a funny game sometimes. It can change on little things, Rickie Lambert nearly scored a third and he was very unlucky not to because he was pushed, but even though we left disappointed, we’ve taken the positives from the game and we’re confident enough to beat QPR now on Saturday.
“This game is massive,” he concedes. “QPR will come to us because they are playing for their lives, but we are too. We want to survive in this league, and we want to put QPR in more trouble, that’s our job, and that’s what we want to do.
“They do have a lot to lose in terms of their Premier League position, but they are a good team and I’m sure they will come at us, but it’s no problem if we play our game. We’re ready for it, to win this game.”