SAINTS midfielder James Ward-Prowse reckons the club can break finish in the top-10 next season.

The 24-year-old was was one of four players cut from Gareth Southgate’s long squad list for the Nations League Finals in Portugal, where England went on to finish third.

And the midfielder is looking to bounce back this season and outlined his hopes for the campaign.

Ward-Prowse said: “To improve on last season as a club with its identity back and, for me, that is (being) a top-10 Premier League team.

“We have the players, the manager and the foundations to achieve that.”

The academy lad was left out of Southgate's final England squad with club teammate Nathan Redmond.

And Ward-Prowse, who has fought his way back to become a key player at Saints, wants to use the Three Lions setback is a motivational tool.

He added: “In football you have to be able to deal with the ups and downs. That’s what I’ve learned the most in the last couple of years.

“Football is not always going to be a good rise and you are not going to progress all the time, you are going to get things in the way that halt you.

“You have to enjoy the good moments, of course, but you also have to work through the tough times and maintain that belief in yourself and that is all I have done.

“It was a good couple of weeks away training and you come back feeling rejuvenated and inspired.

“The priority at the minute is ensuring I do that well and, if I do that to a good enough standard, then hopefully I should be making England squads on a more regular basis.”

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s arrival in December saw the player’s fortunes change.

He scored seven goals in 16 appearances from January to April, his best return as a professional, having failed to find the net in his previous 21 stretching back to February 2018.

That form earned him England recognition and Ward-Prowse, who has amassed almost 200 Premier League appearances, believes he can continue improving under Hasenhuttl. 

“He gave me that confidence and no fear to go out and work as hard as I could individually and for the team and you could see the benefits that gave everyone.

“Most importantly he gave us an idea and identity of who we are as a team as I felt we had lost that a little bit.”