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Premier League

Southampton midfielder Steven Davis eager to put frustrating start to season behind him

Davis has endured a slow start to his Saints career

Southampton midfielder Steven Davis is hoping to put a frustrating first half of the season behind him in 2013.

Davis, 28, joined the Saints from Rangers last summer but missed pre-season as he recovered from a double hernia operation.

The Northern Ireland international has struggled to establish a regular first-team spot and was again a substitute during the 1-0 weekend win over former club Aston Villa.

Davis said: "It's been frustrating, I joined the club on the back of a double hernia operation.

"I missed pre season, and I've started games where, to be honest, I wasn't 100 per cent right.

"The team's been doing well since, and I've just got to try and get back in."

Davis can see encouraging signs in Saints' recent performances and they have collected 17 points from their last 11 games to move out of the Barclays Premier League bottom three.

He said: "We had a really difficult start to the league in terms of fixtures.

"After the initial period, we've judged it well and there's a maturity about us and a consistency.

"We've managed to keep going and we have another difficult run of fixtures coming up.

"If we keep giving our all every game and, showing the right blend between defence and attacking play, then we'll keep picking up points."

Meanwhile, Southampton are awaiting the prognosis on the knee injury suffered by defender Luke Evans in a challenge with Villa right-back Matt Lowton which led to him being stretchered off.

Saints manager Nigel Adkins said: "Luke has got a badly gashed right knee, which is quite swollen, and a lot of scars down his left knee where the challenges were.

"We've got an excellent medical department so we'll see what the diagnosis is.

"We'd like to think it's just a very heavy challenge and nothing more serious than that but it's quite a big blow he has taken to his knee."