Schneiderlin: League One helped me
Morgan Schneiderlin did not expect to be playing on a cold Tuesday night in Hartlepool when he joined Southampton, but believes such experiences helped turn him into a Premier League-class player.
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The 22-year-old is one of just a handful of players to have remained with the club during what has been a turbulent past four years, which saw the club go from the brink to the Premier League via back-to-back promotions.
Schneiderlin was part of the side relegated to League One in 2009, capping what was a difficult first season in English football for the French midfielder.
"For myself, it was very difficult," said Schneiderlin, who joined Saints despite reported interest from the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea.
"I was very young, I was only 18 and for me it was a difficult thing to leave my family and friends to come to England.
"The first year was especially hard as we also did not have the best results.
"I tried to learn the language very quickly and how to live in England. I did that and now I have no regrets because everything went the way it wanted to when I first came.
"I am in the Premier League so it is good now. I don't regret anything."
Furthermore, Schneiderlin believes his four years in the Football League have actually aided his development, particularly highlighting the two seasons spent in the third tier.
"League One made me a better player," he said. "You don't play in the best stadiums, you don't play against the best teams but it is a very good learning curve.
"I remember one game against Hartlepool where there was so much wind we could not play football.
"But that's part of football and that makes you more appreciative when you play in the Premier League and makes you work even harder to stay here."
Schneiderlin is hoping that such hard work will soon translate into victories after what has been frustrating start to the campaign, with Saints only having four points to show heading into tomorrow's clash with fellow promoted side West Ham.
"When we were down in League One I was very disappointed because when I first came here it was to play in the Premier League," Schneiderlin added.
"When the new chairman came in, he showed us his ambition for the club, I think everyone knew it was a great club to be part of, to be part of this project
"Now I am very, very happy to be at Southampton and want to do even better, not just fighting to stay in the Premier League but fighting for something else."
While Schneiderlin has been pleased with his top-flight performances so far, he laughed off suggestions from some that a call-up to Didier Deschamps' national team beckons.
"At the moment I have only played six games so it is not quite long enough to be called up to the French national team, I guess," the former France Under-21 international said.
"Hopefully I will have a good season and everyone will think about me then.
"That is my number one target, to be one day in the full French squad and I will do everything for it."