Saints striker Graziano Pellè is enjoying the physical nature of the Premier League but knows he must improve if he’s to be a success.
Pellè arrived from Feyenoord in July with a prolific scoring record in the Dutch Eredivisie of 50 league goals in 57 appearances.
But in the two opening games of the Premier League season the towering 6ft 4inch frontman has failed to find the net and has, at times, looked frustrated and isolated in the Saints attack.
This isn’t something he is concerned about, however, and is working hard to improve. But most importantly for him, he wants the team to succeed.
“I want to always score,” said Pellè after Saints’ 0-0 draw with West Brom. “At least I wanted a win today (against the Baggies). I would be still happy if we’d won and I hadn’t scored.”
He was frustrated during the goalless draw and said: “They (West Brom) were compact, it was not easy.
“We had to try to find space, play a little bit quicker and be more aggressive when we got the chance. We have to improve.”
The Baggies match yielded few chances in front of goal for Pellè. But the 29-year-old is aware that the Premier League is a far different prospect to the competition he’s used to in the Netherlands.
“I knew already [that the Premier League would be tough] but, of course, the playing is different and I have to do more because I expect more from myself,” he said.
“I need to help my own game get better. We have to be better.”
The attacker, who made his league debut in the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool last week, made comparisons to his days in Rotterdam and at AZ Alkmaar. He said: “Of course, the defenders just go through to kick the ball [in England].
“In Holland they are different, they are playing defenders. They like to be together. They are attacking from the defence – here they are tougher. I like that and it shouldn’t be a problem for me to adapt.”
The former Lecce striker was keen to stress that he is bonding well with his new teammates and they are working hard to fuse together as a squad after a summer of transition at St Mary’s.
“Many players have arrived and already it is the beginning of the season,” he said.
“But we are working every day, every week, to try and find a good connection.
“We need to win the games now. We’re playing well but we’re not getting the points.
“We have to go again and hopefully get a win on Tuesday (against Millwall).”
It was Pellè’s first Premier League match at St Mary’s and the Italian enjoyed playing in front of the home fans.
“It’s a great experience for me,” he said. “It’s the best competition [the Premier League], but, today, I’m not happy because we didn’t win.”
Pellè arrived in mid-July, signing a three-year contract at Saints. He was widely seen as the obvious replacement for Rickie Lambert, who moved to Liverpool.