Matt Targett has expressed his delight at returning to the action against Manchester United, having endured seven months on the sidelines.
The 21-year-old suffered a hamstring injury during the 3-1 win over Burnley in October, and has spent the majority of the season working on his recovery.
“It was very nice to be back playing at St Mary’s,” started Targett.
“It’s been a difficult season for me with the injury, but it was great to be back out there today playing in front of all the fans.
“Football is full of highs and lows. This season has been a low point for me, but I have worked hard and am happy to be back.”
Targett played 90 minutes during the penultimate Premier League game of the season against Manchester United at St Mary’s.
And although he was pleased to pick up a clean sheet, he felt Saints should have come away from the game with more than one point.
“I don’t think they troubled us too much,” he continued.
“Martial hitting the post was the only real dangerous moment they had and I thought we defended very well, but in the final third we need to be better.
“It’s very important for us now to finish well against Stoke and finish as high as possible. Then we can look back on the season positively and go again next season.”