RISING star Nathan Tella believes he is capable of giving himself a "good chance" of featuring more regularly for Saints this season after making an impact in the early weeks of the campaign.

It has been somewhat of a breakthrough season so far for the winger, who has featured in four of Saints' six fixtures, having only made his debut four months ago.

Tella was introduced as a late substitute in the 3-0 win over Norwich City in the first game of the Premier League's Project Restart, and made his first start for Ralph Hasenhuttl's side in last month's Carabao Cup defeat against Brentford.

The former Arsenal youngster, 21, has since made lively cameos against Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley, as well as coming off the bench to help Saints clinch a dramatic 3-3 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Asked how big a role he would like to have this season having now made his first start for the club, Tella told the Daily Echo: "To be honest I’m not too sure. I think it’s just something I’ve got to work on in training.

"I’ve just got to train day in, day out, give my best and if I can continue to do that, then I think it will just give me more of an opportunity to be involved in the selection.

"I’m not saying that I’m guaranteed to start or I’m guaranteed to be in the squad, but if I just keep trying, training and give my all I think I’m giving myself a good chance."

Tella has not been the only youngster handed minutes by Hasenhuttl this term.

Academy graduate Will Smallbone started in the Premier League opener at Crystal Palace, while striker Michael Obafemi has featured three times off the bench.

"I think we have a few young lads in our team, they will get chances this season for sure, more than they expected maybe," said Hasenhuttl.

"I think he (Tella) was very intense in the game against Brentford. He had a lot of high-speed running and also a few good situations.

"The final pass or the final finish was not there. I think this he has to learn but, for the first time (he started), I think it was okay. Absolutely, I was not disappointed about him.

"We cannot expect that they (young players) lift us, we have to give them a team where they can swim with them and try to adapt to the quality we have.

"We have a few young players who can be an alternative in the future.”