Southampton defender Jeremy Pied has revealed that it has not been “easy” for him to work himself back to full fitness and back into the first team, according to a report on the Daily Echo.

The full-back joined the Saints from French Ligue 1 side Nice in August 2016, but then suffered a horror cruciate ligament injury, which has kept him out of action for majority of his time at the club.

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The defender also had a brilliant relationship with then Saints boss Claude Puel, who was one of the main reasons that Pied signed for the club.

Puel has since been replaced by Mauricio Pellegrino but Pied insists that he has no problems with the decision of the club.

It doesn’t matter what’s in my head, for me when I have a shirt I give 100 per cent for the shirt. Of course, I signed with Claude Puel but if it’s another manager, this is part of a professional footballer’s life.

The right-back made his first Premier League appearance of the season in the 1-1 draw against Bournemouth and expects to continue to improve as the season progresses.

To be honest, it’s not been easy. We all want to play the maximum games possible, but you have to find the solution, you have to keep going or you just abandon it. My choice was to keep going, it’s really important for me. It’s important to be ready for the team.

The 28-year-old filled in for the injured Cedric Soares and is ready for a run of matches in the starting team.

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