Emmanuel ready for first full campaign

By SFC Media time Fri 26 Jul Club

Emmanuel Mayuka hopes his involvement in Saints' pre-season preparations will put him in a good position ahead of his first full campaign for the Club.

The striker joined Southampton at the end of last August, meaning he was thrown straight in without a real chance to bond with his new teammates and build his fitness.

However, barring an illness that slightly restricted his involvement during the first few weeks of pre-season, Mayuka has enjoyed getting in the thick of things ahead of the 2013/14 campaign.

"Last season I wasn't here for pre-season and the start of the season but this year it's good because I'm settled with the team," the Zambian told Saints Player from the squad's base in Austria.

"I know the guys and the coaching staff, which is a good thing for me. I believe I will have a good season after the pre-season that we are doing here.

"The places that we've been to have been great, and for now it's time to work extremely hard.

"I am just looking forward to the start of the season, and we will see where we go from there."

Mayuka's illness meant he missed Saints' wins over UE Llagostera and Palamós CF during the squad's 12-day stint in Spain.

However, he returned to full training in time to feature in the team's narrow defeat to German side FC Schalke 04, coming on as a 64th-minute replacement for Rickie Lambert.

Mayuka went almost four months without playing a game for Saints last season but, having appeared as a substitute in the final four games of the campaign, the 22-year-old now feels he has a base to work off. 

"I would like to keep on working hard like I did towards the end of last season," he affirmed. 

"I want to build on that so I am looking forward to starting more games, scoring goals and helping the team in every way that I can. It's time now to work extremely hard and get into the game. 

"I had a slight pain in my kidney but, after one week of rest, I came back bit-by-bit," he added of his recent illness. 

"I'm OK now, and I am back in full training so I can't complain much. 

"It's not nice to see your friends working hard and playing games because a player has to be involved in everything a team is doing. 

"It was hard for me but I had to wait until I was fully-fit to step back into training.

"[Playing against Schalke] was really, really good for me and now I'm looking forward to the next game on Saturday. 

"I have to keep going and to keep working hard by playing more and more games so I will be back in good shape and fully-fit. That's what I'm waiting for."

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