LOANEE Joe Roth­well admit­ted he is “mas­sive­ly open” to join­ing Saints per­ma­nent­ly should his time at AFC Bournemouth be over.

The 29 year old joined Southamp­ton from Pre­mier League Cher­ries in Jan­u­ary in a bid for more play­ing time.

Since join­ing Rus­sell Mar­t­in’s side, Roth­well has played 267 min­utes in the Cham­pi­onship, a tick under the 381 he played in the Pre­mier League.

The for­mer Black­burn mid­field­er has been used as Stu­art Arm­strong’s under­study but net­ted cru­cial goals against Hud­der­s­field and Sun­der­land.

Asked if he would like to stay next sea­son, Roth­well was respect­ful to his par­ent side while also express­ing a desire to join Saints.

He respond­ed to the Dai­ly Echo: “Why not?

“I’ve real­ly enjoyed my time here. If my time at Bournemouth has come and passed, then it’s some­thing I’m mas­sive­ly open to.

Daily Echo: Joe Rothwell's quickfire double secured victory over Sunderland on SaturdayJoe Roth­well’s quick­fire dou­ble secured vic­to­ry over Sun­der­land on Sat­ur­day (Image: PA)

“But I’m not think­ing about that at the minute.

“My main focus is to fin­ish as high as we can and hope­ful­ly get into those auto­mat­ic spots to get this club back to the Pre­mier League.”

Sat­ur­day’s win over Sun­der­land was Southamp­ton’s final Cham­pi­onship game until Fri­day, March 29, when they host Mid­dles­brough.

“The inter­na­tion­al break will be good for us,” Roth­well not­ed. “We will get some good time on the train­ing ground. We haven’t had that for a month or so.

“It has been game, recov­er, game, recov­er. We haven’t had much time to work on the train­ing ground. 

“I think the man­ag­er is look­ing for­ward to get­ting some prop­er ses­sions into the lads who aren’t going away. It’s also a chance for a lot of us to rest and recov­er. ”

David Brooks has been called up by Wales while Jan Bednarek is expect­ed to be a part of Poland’s squad this month.

Poland and Wales are both in Path A of the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship qual­i­fy­ing play­offs and could face each oth­er in the final in Cardiff.

A brief stint away from Saints and a new focus could allow play­ers to return to Sta­ple­wood with renewed ener­gy ahead of the final 10 games. 

“I don’t know how they are look­ing at it but I think it could help,” Roth­well added.

“From speak­ing to Brooksy I know how much he enjoys going away with the nation­al team.

“It will be real­ly good for him and they could end up play­ing a real­ly big game against Jan. I’m sure it’s some­thing they are both look­ing for­ward to.”