Stephens hopes to take lessons of last season into this summer

By SFC Media time Wed 29 Jun Club

Jack Stephens is hoping to take the lessons he learned from the last campaign into pre-season with Southampton this year.

The centre-back reported for duty at Staplewood Campus this week, following his summer break.

Stephens spent the first half of last season on loan at Championship club Middlesbrough, but only made five appearances there.

The second portion of the campaign proved far more memorable, though, as the 22-year-old played 16 times for Coventry City, during a loan spell at the League 1 side, before then helping England Under-21s win the Toulon Tournament, in France.

Stephens told "I had two loan moves last season. One was quite positive and one was not as positive, but I definitely learnt from both the loan moves. Hopefully I can take what I learnt from last season and take that forward for this year.

"It was a difficult time for me at Middlesbrough, but I took the positives out of it and moved on in January, and when I went to Coventry it was plenty of games for me, which is exactly what I needed, so I definitely feel I've got better as a player and hopefully I can show that moving forward into pre-season.”

On the Toulon victory, Stephens added: "That was definitely the highlight of last season for me. It was a brilliant experience, a great group of lads and it was just an unbelievable achievement for everyone involved to come away with the win in the tournament.”

Stephens is now hoping to get the chance to establish himself in the Saints first-team squad this summer.

"Obviously, I want to make an impression,” he said. “With a new manager coming in, everyone's in the same boat. You start from scratch really, but I'm just looking forward to it and I want to enjoy every minute.

"I've just got to do all I can to convince the staff that come in that I'm ready for this level of football. Obviously, I think I'm ready, but the coaches here and the people upstairs they'll have a say on that as well. All I can do is my best and just try to convince them that I'm ready.”

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