Michael Obafemi has his sights set on adding to his first senior appearance of the season after a late cameo at Man City last weekend.
The 18-year-old striker has been in red-hot form for Southampton Under-23s, with six goals to his name already this campaign, and made his first-team debut against Tottenham in January.
Ten months on, he was rewarded with 20 minutes off the bench at the Etihad Stadium, where Obafemi’s energy and fearlessness was clear to see – earning a first call-up to the Republic of Ireland provisional squad as a result.
“Coming on against Man City, we were 5-1 down, but I just wanted to show the fans what I can do,” he said.
“It was a good experience and the fans were welcoming as well, so I enjoyed it.
“Obviously they were tough circumstances against a top Premier League side, but it was a very proud moment.
“It’s a big achievement. I know I can do it deep down, it’s just whether I can prove it on the pitch. I think that’s what I’m doing.
“It was my second appearance for the club, and hopefully there are many more to come.”
Obafemi’s enthusiasm is infectious – he certainly isn’t daunted when surrounded by more experienced players, who have been easing his transition to the first team.
“That’s just me,” he added. “I’m a bubbly character and I like to bring laughter to the changing room and lift spirits.
“During sessions and after sessions, Shane Long, Charlie Austin and Danny Ings all talk to me, telling me where to be in certain circumstances in a game, double movements and what to do when the midfielders have the ball.
“It’s comforting because I’m a young player coming through and I need help from them, because they’re the experienced ones. It’s good to see they’re helping me out.”