JOSH Sims admits it was the right time for him to move away on loan from Saints after sealing a season-long switch to Championship side Reading.

Sims has been around the Saints first-team since breaking onto the scene under Claude Puel two seasons ago.

But despite some exciting displays, managerial changes have perhaps stopped him becoming established at St Mary’s and he started this campaign playing with the under-23s.

Current boss Mark Hughes only used the 21-year-old attacking midfielder sparingly in Saints’ run to Premier League survival last term and it was clear this season Sims would have to be patient for another shot at the first-team.

The academy man made 13 appearances under Puel in 2016/17 – most notably setting up Shane Long for the last minute winner at Liverpool in the League Cup semi-final second leg – but was back at square one when the French boss was replaced by Mauricio Pellegrino.

He eventually won the affections of Pellegrino after making a superb impact in the 1-1 draw at Burnley, going onto make a start in a draw against Stoke before playing in the Argentine’s last game in charge at Saints – the 3-0 defeat to Newcastle.

But Sims didn’t want to wait for his chance this term.

He said: “I got my chance at Southampton. There were a couple of injuries and I got my break.

"I had a good few games but now is a good time for me to go out on loan and prove myself week in week out and just improve my overall game.

“Rather than playing one game here and there, I’m trying to get a run of games and prove myself.”

He added: “I’m delighted. It all happened quickly over the course of the last few days but I’m delighted to be here now and to meet the players and staff and I’m looking forward to the games ahead.

“It’s been on the cards a while but in the last few days it’s all sped up quite fast which is good because now I’m here and I’m not waiting around.

“I’m quite a direct, fast attacking player, so from what I’ve seen at the weekend I can definitely incorporate that into the way Reading play.

“I can benefit them and they can benefit me with my progression.”