Steven Davis hopes to keep his place in the Southampton side for this weekend’s trip to Manchester United.
Prior to the recent international break, Davis had made back-to-back starts in the league for the first time this season, helping Saints on their way to victories over Crystal Palace and Swansea City.
The midfielder made a key contribution to the first goal of the game against the Swans last time out, before maintaining his upward curve with a goal for his country in midweek to salvage a positive result at the end of an otherwise disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign.
It’s club form though, that the Northern Irishman is fully focused on, and he’s keen to make the most of his latest opportunity to stay in the team.
“I’ve had to bide my time and wait for my chance,” Davis told Saints Player ahead of Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford.
“The lads have been playing well and picking up results so you don’t expect the manager to make too many changes given the situation, but I was delighted to get back in and obviously play in the last game, so I want to start again at the weekend.”
Although naturally favouring a central berth, Davis admits he’s happy to slot in anywhere across the midfield, as he is comfortable with the freedom offered in Saints’ variety of formation line ups.
“I’ve been playing out on the left a little bit, but I think with the way the manager wants to play you’ve got that freedom to go out on the pitch and find spaces which is something I enjoy doing and works to my benefit,” he explained.
“I’ve not often played there to be honest, but it’s a role that I’m enjoying. It’s just great to be playing because every player wants to be in the starting eleven and there’s good competition for places, so you need to play well to try and keep your shirt.
“You’ve seen that we’ve changed things a bit tactically, but of course we can still play one or two ways at the minute. We’ve got players that are quite adaptable and obviously the way the manager wants us to play allows us to do that, also.”
Davis returned from international duty on Wednesday and has wasted no time in getting reacquainted with the rest of the Saints squad, who he says are in good spirits ahead of the trip north.
“From speaking to the lads they’ve worked hard over the period that we’ve been away and they’re looking forward obviously to getting back into the game where hopefully we can continue our good start to this season.
“It’s a game for us to look forward to and we’ve made a good platform to build on from the start to the season so we’re looking forward to going to United and getting a result.”
Last season, Saints took an early lead at Old Trafford before a brace of Wayne Rooney goals turned the game on its head, but Davis says the team can take confidence from the performance that they put in against United in January.
“I thought we put in a really good performance and we were unlucky not to get anything from the game,” he said. “We were disappointed afterwards which shows you that going to United and coming back disappointed is a big thing, but we want to go out there and do one better this time by getting a result.
“[Earlier this season] West Brom went up there and put in a really good performance to deservedly win the game, so hopefully we can emulate that.
“We’ve shown a real level of consistency so far,” Davis concluded. “Obviously it’s only the start and we need to show it throughout the season.
“Just from the squad I think there’s a real belief about how we want to play and obviously by getting the results as well, brings confidence. Having had a good pre-season, we’ve worked hard, and now we’re seeing the rewards of that.”