DESPITE a marquee signing in his natural position, youngster Shea Charles has battled himself back into contention in the Saints midfield.

Only 10 Saints players have featured for more minutes than the former Manchester City academy captain, who turned 20 years old last month. 

Charles has appeared in 17 of the 19 Championship games this campaign having only made one senior appearance, for City, before joining.

We had a chance to sit down with Charles and catch up for the first time since pre-season, putting to him some of our own and some questions from Saints supporters... 

Q: The last time we spoke was out in Turkey, does that feel like a long time ago or has it gone quickly?

I feel like it has gone really quickly. I remember thinking the other day that I moved into my apartment in September and that's nearly three months ago now. 

It's gone quickly but I am really enjoying it. 

Q: How has it been moving from Manchester to Southampton? 

I was in Manchester my whole life so it's definitely different being down here. It's quieter and I live on my own.

There's less to do but I am enjoying it and the football is good, so I can't complain.

Q: How is cooking for yourself going? 

I don't find it too hard. You just read what it says on the packaging. My best meal is probably Spaghetti Bolognese but I've only done it once.

Q: You've only done it once? That doesn't count as cooking... 

I've done spaghetti once but I've done loads of other stuff as well.

Q: What's the biggest difference in playing for Man City's academy and Southampton? 

It's different because you've got the fans and the fans want results. If you're not getting the results in academy football, it's only the coaches that are onto you. 

During that stretch of games that we lost four in a row, it was tough for me. I was playing centre-back in some of those games too.

The fans weren't happy but after that, we have come through it well and I feel like we have always had a good relationship with the supporters. 

Daily Echo: Shea Charles departed Man City a Premier League 2 winning captainShea Charles departed Man City a Premier League 2 winning captain (Image: PA)

Q: I don't want to dwell on the negatives, but was making a costly mistake early on against Leicester a real low point, or were you able to reset and focus? 

For me, I just made a mistake. They scored and it looks bad but ultimately everyone loses the ball in the game.

We just have to play on and try to get on with our own game and that is what I tried to do. We still lost the game but I felt alright for the rest of the match. 

Q: You have played the 11th most minutes of any Saints player this season, are you happy with your involvement? 

Yeah, and every minute is so important for me being my first year in senior football. Starting, coming off the bench or doing whatever the gaffer wants, I can't complain. 

Q: How do you see and enjoy your more advanced midfield role?

I have played as an eight before so it is not a new thing for me and it is something that I wanted to work on, my attacking game. 

During these past couple of games, I have been able to get forward a bit more, make some forward runs and some key passes a bit more. That's something I really enjoy. 

Q: Although the competition is healthy, did you see the arrival of Flynn Downes and think that will make it more difficult to get minutes? 

Of course, but having someone like Flynn play in your position so well makes him someone that I can look up to.

He has played this system before, too, so I see him as somebody to learn from more than anything. 

Daily Echo: Flynn Downes is likely to play every game at the base of Russell Martin's midfieldFlynn Downes is likely to play every game at the base of Russell Martin's midfield

Q: If you've got the ball 30 yards out, do the fans screaming 'Shooooooot' actually give you the temptation to have a go? 

When the fans shout shoot, especially if you're not thinking about shooting in the first place, it does put it in your mind to shoot.

I don't think I have had that moment yet, I have had the shout but not the shot yet. It definitely crosses the mind.

Q: If you have a yoghurt, do you use a spoon to negotiate the excess yoghurt on the lid back into the pot or do you lick it clean? 

I'd lick it if it's on the lid. Do you not? 

Q: What's it like to make a senior breakthrough for your country before your club? 

It was different because I didn't know anyone who had done that, but I think Jonny Evans had done the same thing when he was younger.

Then, a couple more did it at City too. At City, I had Rodri ahead of me and he is one of the best players in the world, so... 

I think it could become more common in the future. It has at City, anyway. 

Q: I think this one is taking the mick out of you. What's it like to have two first names? 

What, Shea and Charles? (ponders) 

Daily Echo: Couldn't you come up with a better question?Couldn't you come up with a better question?

Q: We'll leave that one. Who is your best mate at the club? 

I would say Juan Larios and Sam Edozie. Juan has been back in Spain having his rehab so it's definitely been a tough time for him. 

Q: What profile of midfielder do you consider yourself as, as it has changed over the season?

Originally, I would say that I was a sitting midfielder but I can do both roles. That's what I am playing at the moment, even coming off the bench.

Q: Who has been the hardest direct opponent you have faced this season? 

I would probably say Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. We were man-to-man and I was marking him, I was following him all around and it was tough. 

I thought I handled it quite well but he has played in the Premier League and I thought he was probably the toughest opponent.

Q: What is your favourite takeaway? 

Pizza, Dominoes. I either just have Margherita or I will have a Texas BBQ one. 

Thanks, Shea, and good luck against Watford on Saturday...