Under-18s forward Dan N’Lundulu says his ‘season starts now’ after returning from injury.
First year-scholar N’Lundulu had been sidelined since early October until making his comeback in last weekend’s 4-0 defeat at Arsenal, but the striker, who turned 17 last week, is looking for a strong end to the campaign for both himself and the team.
Saints' youngsters are winless in ten games and host Leicester City on Saturday afternoon, a side who beat Craig Fleming’s men earlier in the season, and N’Lundulu hopes to add to his six appearances for the team this weekend.
“It was great coming back from injury,” he told youtube.com/southamptonfc.
“I’ve been working hard in the gym trying to stay fit and it was great to get back into training and matches to be around the team spirit again, to be honest.
“Before the Arsenal match Craig Fleming said to me that my season starts now because I’d been out for so long so it is like a fresh start for me and I’m looking to get some goals in.
“I got injured against Leicester so I’m looking to bounce back against them because we lost that one and hopefully we’ll get a win this time.”
N’Lundulu says the time out has taught him a lot about professional football as he seeks the positives from a frustrating season on the pitch so far.
He said: “As a footballer it’s good to have that experience early in your career because when you’re back on the football pitch you know how it feels so you work even harder to get back on the pitch and into the starting line-up. It has made me stronger.
“It’s football, really. You’ve just got to deal with it and stay positive for every moment that you can.
“It’s part of the job and the time out has taught me that I’ll get through it and now I’m back.
“It was great to start (at Arsenal). I was really proud of myself to start against a big team like Arsenal so it was a great comeback for me. Unfortunately we lost, but it was a good learning point for us as a team.”
Saints know their fate heading into the final game of their regular season, with the division splitting into three groups, and N’Lundulu is looking to start as he means to go on.
“It’s the last game of the regular season and all we can try and do is get that first win in a while,” he explained.
“We’ve been working very hard in training as a team, collectively. It’s not individual mistakes it’s collective, so we need to communicate and work harder together to get that win now. We are working hard and we’ll be looking to bounce back against Leicester City.
“We’ve looked at some of the clips and Leicester are a very physical team who work their socks off, they work hard so all we’ve got to do is match them.”