MICHAEL Obafemi has admitted to taking Ralph Hasenhuttl’s advice on board.

The Saints boss revealed in January that the striker “lacks professionalism” in certain aspects of his game which is why he is more susceptible to picking up an injury.

But after recovering from a hamstring issue, and with a full pre-season behind him, Obafemi explained that he had to do some growing up.

Speaking to the Southampton FC website, Obafemi said: “It’s a man’s game, so you can’t behave like a kid, even if I am only 19. I’ve learned to take things on the chin a bit,” he adds.

“I was a bit wild before – I still am sometimes. I still have that playful side to me, but I’m more determined. I’m learning what it takes to stay around the first team.

“The club has stuck by me through these injuries, so I need to repay that. I think I’ve calmed down a bit, but I can’t lose all my personality – that’s what makes me who I am.”

Obafemi netted his first Premier League goal against last December and became the club’s youngest player to score in the top-flight at the same time.

However, he then picked up his first of two hamstring injuries that would plague the rest of his season.

The Republic of Ireland international made his return back in February at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

But not long after he came off the bench, he was hobbling back down the tunnel and facing another lengthy spell out of the team.

After an assessment, there was confirmation that he had injured his hamstring again which ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Hasenhuttl made it clear that, because of the youngster’s body shape, he had to take extra care, with Obafemi admitting to doing just that.

He added: “As the manager has said, I really have to manage my back and my hamstrings, so I do all the exercises and stretches I need to before training now.

“My mindset has changed a bit because I can appreciate being able to train every day now. 

“It’s hard watching teammates train and being stuck in the gym, but I think in the long run I will be a better player for it.

“I’m back fit now and raring to go for the new season.

“I’m probably more excited than anyone else because I haven’t been able to play football in so long.

“I want to stay fit, firstly. Like I said, I have to pay a lot of attention to my body to keep it in good condition. 

“Obviously, I want to score goals and get assists because I’ve only had that feeling once, and I want to have it again.”