JOSH Sims hopes to be Saints' 'creative spark' in the nine ‘finals’ that make up their daunting Premier League run-in.

With six away games – starting with this weekend’s trip to Newcastle United – and home games against Chelsea, AFC Bournemouth and Manchester City – Saints could not have a more difficult ‘back nine’.

Sims described the forthcoming trips to Newcastle and West Ham as ‘massive’ after the goalless draw against Stoke City.

He said: “All the games coming up now are almost like finals for us.

“The positive is we didn’t lose to Stoke.

“If we weren’t going to win we certainly couldn’t lose and we did that. We kept the clean sheet so have to take that into the next game.

"We've got to pick up a result at Newcastle."

Sims made his only his second Premier League start, and his first since his debut 15 months ago, against Stoke.

“It’s obviously a difficult situation to come into but hopefully I can get the team going,” he said. 

“I think I bring energy to the team so when I get my opportunity all I can do is be that creative spark in the team.

“It has been a long time since I started my last game. 

“I’ve had a bad injury since then so I’ve been through a lot in that time in between but I’m back now, fully fit.

“It’s good to get the recognition. I thought I played well against Burnley and I came on and sort of changed the game so I’m happy the manager has seen that and put me in the starting 11.

“When you come into a situation like me you sort of get a free rein as a fresh face in the team.

“What got me in the team was running at players and having a lot of energy. 

“The fans like that so that’s what I have to keep doing and show the manager and fans why hopefully I can play more minutes.”

On the draw against Stoke, Sims continued: “We’re all disappointed we didn’t get the three points. 

“We had lot of opportunities, especially in the second half. 

“It’s a shame because if we played like that all the way through the game I’m sure we would have won.

"[At half-time] the manager got everyone together and said ‘look, you’ve got to liven up, move the ball quicker’ and we did that from the first moment of the second half."