JAMES Ward-Prowse knows that Saints need to beat the teams like Sheffield United if they are to make their mark in the Premier League.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have often performed well against the top-flight’s toughest opponents, only to struggle against the weaker teams.

And the midfielder is hoping that trend will be bucked at Bramall Lane this afternoon.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Ward-Prowse said: “I think it’s a possibility in the last year or two [that they’ve struggled against weaker teams].

“We want to get a solid foothold in the Premier League and for us to do that, we need to go into these matches and win them. This is definitely the sort of game where I believe we can do that.

“When you are away from home you naturally look to defend first and get a foothold of the game.

“These are the games that we have to win and beat these teams.

“There is an expectancy on us, but we have to make sure we play our game plan the right way.

“If we do that then we will pick up points.”

Ward-Prowse played an instrumental role in keeping Saints in the Premier League last season.

His dramatic free-kick winner against Tottenham Hotspur will stick long in the memory as one of the most important goals scored during the 2018/19 campaign.

The 24-year-old netted seven times in total, with them all coming from central midfield.

This season, Hasenhuttl has been deploying him out on the wing, however, the academy lad admitted he is just happy to be playing.

“I like being versatile – playing in different positions is more of a challenge for me.

“I’m a team player and I want to be involved in the team as much as I can. Whether that’s playing on the right-wing or in central midfield, it doesn’t really faze me.

“I believe I play my best football in that central midfield area, but I feel as though I’ve got the qualities to play elsewhere.

“Wherever the manager decides to play me, I’m willing to give it 100 per cent.”