Jordy Clasie admits he is struggling to adapt to the physical demands of the Premier League after joining Southampton in the summer.
The 24-year-old signed for Ronald Koeman’s side for £8million in the summer, but he has started just four Premier League games of 13 so far for Saints.
“I’m feeling good but now I’m at 90-85 per cent,” Clasie explained to the Southern Daily Press. “I know I can be better and I work hard for it on the training pitch and also in the gym when I have time to spend on it.
He added: “[I’m working on] sharpness on the pitch, but also after the training I spoke a lot with a guy that does the warming up and on the runs.
“And I have to do work after the training to run or do something more with the ball.
“I know I can, I have to be, fitter than I am now and now I’m 90-85 per cent. Give me a couple of weeks and then I’m 100 per cent.”
The central midfielder is yet to complete a full 90 minutes for Southampton, but Clasie is confident he will reach this level soon.
“I know I have to work harder than ever. In Holland I play 90 minutes and I’m full, now I play 80 minutes here and I’m full. That’s the level I want to play and know I have to work hard for it.
“But believe me, give me a couple of weeks and then I’m 100 per cent.”
Clasie was substituted after 64 minutes in the 1-0 loss against Stoke City on Saturday and admits that he is battling to adjust to the intensity of the Premier League.
“The first minutes against Liverpool away, I look on the board and it felt like I had been play for 40 minutes and there was only 20 minutes on the board,” he said.
“That’s the level I want to play. The league is a very high level, but that’s why I came to England.
“I want to play at a higher level than Holland and England is the perfect step I think.”
Clasie was tipped as a direct replacement for Morgan Schneiderlin, who departed for Manchester United, by new team-mate Virgil van Dijk last week.
Clasie added, of the comparison: “No, that’s his opinion.”