Oriol Romeu believes a consistent run in Southampton’s starting line-up has benefited him and is hoping he can now keep hold of his place in the side.
The midfielder, who signed last summer from Chelsea, has started the last four matches for Ronald Koeman’s team, and
"It's very important,” he told Southampton’s official YouTube channel. “Everyone wants to play, everyone wants to be involved and being there, having some minutes, makes you feel more comfortable, makes you feel better in terms of fitness, so I'm feeling very good, I'm looking forward to keep playing, to keep showing the coach that I'm ready to play and to have more games.
"Game time gives you more confidence with your teammates, with yourself, and then, when you are there, you feel better physically. The 90 minutes you can hold with no problem, then that gives you everything to play better.
“You have to earn that place in the training sessions, but once you are there, once you are playing, you have to take that chance strongly.”
With Victor Wanyama returning from suspension after tomorrow’s trip to Stoke City, Romeu knows competition in his area of the pitch will increase further, but he will welcome the availability of his teammate.
“We all want everyone to be fit, to be back, to be ready to play and he's one of the top players of the team and always when he's on the pitch he helps the team,” said Romeu.
“He recovers every ball, all the challenges that he wins, he's a very important player for us and once he's back that will be very important for the team and we will see whoever is playing. But, as I said, we just have to help the team and if someone is not playing, just train well and be ready for the chance.
“The midfielders, all are ready to play, all are willing to play, and that makes it more competition to play and that's better for us. I think whenever someone's playing, we just want them to do well and to help the team, and whenever the other is out he has to push from behind. That's the key philosophy and that's the way we go.
"I think me or whoever is playing now will just have to do it well, show the coach what we can do, what he can expect from us. I felt good the last games, I felt happy there playing, so I just want to keep doing the same.”
Asked whether he felt he was approaching his best form, Romeu added: "I don't know. I don't want to put limits on myself, I just want to play as best as I can and do my best every game, so keep playing, keep doing the same.
“Even now, training is hard, training is difficult, everyone wants to play, but here we have to work hard for each other, then the coach will decide who is in the best form to play.”