James Ward-Prowse is confident Saints’ new signings will be more than adequate replacements for this summer’s high profile departures.
As Saints prepare for their opening Premier League game of the season against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, much of the focus is on how the team will bounce back from a tough few months.
After finishing eighth in the top flight they lost their manager and a host of top name players, including the likes of Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren who could line up against their former colleagues for Liverpool this weekend.
But new boss Ronald Koeman has impressed and, according to Ward-Prowse, brought in enough quality to replace what has left.
“It’s disappointing to see them go because they played such a massive part in what we did last year, but it’s football and people come and go and we’ve had a number of new signings who have come in, done terrifically well and will fill those shoes comfortably,” said the midfielder.
“Football is always changing. There is always people coming and going and as long as we just focus on ourselves as a team and making sure we improve then all the off the field issues won’t matter. We just focus on what we do on the pitch.”
He added: “We are all feeling good. It’s nice to get pre-season out of the way, it’s a gruelling time for us with six weeks of hard work all put towards the first day of the season.
“The first game of the season can’t come quick enough for us and we’re looking forward to it.
“Anfield is a good place that we went to last year and it was a day that will probably stick out in our memories for the rest of our careers, winning there and playing so well.
“It’s a place we go to with happy memories and hopefully we can replicate that again.”
Saints won’t come up against Adam Lallana this weekend, who will miss the start of the season through injury, but it will no doubt be a weird feeling for those that remain at St Mary’s to face the likes of Lambert and Lovren.
“It will be strange but we are all focussed on what we’re doing as a team and as a club,” insisted Ward-Prowse.
“We have our game and we will look to win the ball and win the game regardless of who the opposition are.”
Saints are heading into the season hoping to at least match last season’s Premier League campaign, even though some have predicted a tougher year as a new team develops.
“We will have to wait and see but I think though we have lost a lot of quality players we have brought in a lot of quality players,” said Ward-Prowse.
“I think the new players will suit the English Premier League and the way that we play and that it won’t hinder our chances at all.”
The change from Pochettino to Koeman is not a massive one in terms of style of play, but Ward-Prowse admits there are significant differences on the training pitch.
“The physical work we are doing in training is not as intense under the new manager,” he said.
“The way he wants us to play in terms of passing the ball and pressing the ball is pretty similar.
“They are pretty similar styles and I think it’s something we will adapt to fairly well.
“The formation is relatively similar and nothing we haven’t been faced with before so I am sure we will fit into that pretty quickly.”