LOANEE Flynn Downes insisted he is keen to stay at Saints next season amid his side's playoff dream, adding: "I love it here."

The midfielder has been crucial for Southampton this campaign as they qualified for the Championship playoffs

Saints have only won two of their 10 league fixtures when the 25 year old has not been in the side.

Russell Martin has already outlined how important promotion will be to their chances of keeping the West Ham man next season.

Asked by the Daily Echo how much he would love to stay next season, Downes said: "Of course.

"I love it here. I love the gaffer. I love the staff. I love this place. Obviously, we will have to see what happens.

"I won't know too much until I go back to West Ham. We will see what happens there."

Daily Echo: Flynn Downes says he has loved his time at SaintsFlynn Downes says he has loved his time at Saints (Image: PA)

It has been reported that Downes will be given a chance to impress at parent club West Ham next season before a decision is made on his future.

When speaking to the Daily Echo in April he admitted that he had not spoken to the Hammers about his future. 

"I haven't had any serious conversations at all (with West Ham)," he added, when asked about recent talks with the London club.

"We are going to try and get the job done here and then talk about what is going on moving forward."

Downes was speaking after Southampton's 0-0 draw with West Brom in the first leg of their playoff semi-final.

Downes believes a draw away from home has given Martin's side the advantage heading into the second leg at St Mary's.

He said: "We will 100 per cent take the result. Your main objective when you come away from home is to keep a clean sheet and we have.

Daily Echo: Flynn Downes celebrates after dramatic winner against WatfordFlynn Downes celebrates after dramatic winner against Watford (Image: PA)

"I feel like it's an advantage to us going back to our place where the crowd will be behind us. I am looking forward to it.

"We weathered their storm early doors - that was all they could throw at us. The boys defended unbelievably in the first 15 minutes.

"Then I thought we played our stuff and kept it moving. The conditions were tough in the warm weather - it was tough to keep going.

"Coming into this game we wanted to win. It wasn't about holding on for a 0-0 draw - we came here to win the game.

"But the game played out how it did. We kept it under control and managed the game."

Southampton had experienced goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who started the season as back-up, to thank for keeping them in the tie.

Daily Echo: Alex McCarthy produced some important saves against West BromAlex McCarthy produced some important saves against West Brom (Image: PA)

The two-time England international produced two important saves to deny Grady Diangana giving the Baggies the lead.

McCarthy's second save was the start of a counterattack which almost yielded Ross Stewart's first Saints goal - his effort was saved by Alex Palmer's foot.

"He is a joke," Downes said. "You saw his experience come out. What a keeper he is.

"It's a privilege to play with him. Let's hope he can do that again in the home leg."