The Northern Ireland captain told fulhamfc.com: "Fulham were interested right from the start of the summer, but Southampton didn't accept the initial offer and Sunderland came in with a higher bid. I went away on holiday and had time to think and I did talk to them, but only over the phone; not once did I go up there, despite what was reported. But Fulham, because they wanted me more, came in with a better offer so Southampton finally accepted.
"I knew I wanted to come here because of the staff. I knew the Manager and what a good job he did with the Irish squad, and I know he can do that here. Obviously bringing in some of the other players like Aaron Hughes, David Healy and Steven Davis was always going to help me too. "It's not too far from Southampton, which is good for my wife and daughter because she has family there, so I knew it was the Club for me. And now I've come here, I know I've made the right choice.
"Everyone is fantastic, they make you very welcome and it's the same for the rest of the boys. We're having a laugh, but we're training properly and I think we've gelled together well in the pre-season games we've played. We had a good time in Hong Kong and that was a good bonding session for everyone. Everything is fantastic for me at the minute, I couldn't be happier."