Kelvin Davis says Southampton will be looking no further than tomorrow evening’s game in the team’s bid to progress in the Capital One Cup.
A quarter-final tie at home to Chelsea awaits the winners of Saints’ clash with Sunderland on Wednesday evening, but Davis dare not look beyond what will be a challenging contest at the Stadium of Light.
“We’re looking to progress and we know that going to Sunderland, certainly in the position they’re in at the minute, will be no easy game,” he told Saints Player.
“They’re certainly looking for a win and they’re going to be determined to get the win in any competition, so it’s going to be a tough game. The fact that the winners will play Chelsea – at this stage – doesn’t mean anything.
“We’re a determined bunch and we’ve probably surprised a few people outside of the Club along the way this season,” he added. “We’re looking to enhance the position that we’re in and progress in every competition.
“If you’re going to build a team and a club that’s going to be successful then that’s got to be our mentality. We’ve certainly had that over the last few seasons and we want to continue it.”
Davis has started between the posts for Saints in each of the previous two rounds of the League Cup competition and says that, if selected again on Wednesday, he’ll use the opportunity to show Mauricio Pochettino that he’s ready when called upon for league duty.
The teams fielded in the cup to date have been largely different to the ones that have played in the league, but the results recorded show that they have not been significantly under-strength.
“I’d like to think [that] because I’ve been in those teams,” said the Club Captain, “but we’ve got a strong squad and an ambitious group of players which the manager and the chairman have put together, and we’re all looking to play as many games as we can to progress.
“I think there’s a genuine desire amongst all the lads to be in the First Team and I think, with the results putting us in a different position, we’re pushing all the time.
“I speak for myself and the other lads that get their chance in this competition that of course you want to do well and show the manager if any changes are need then you’re ready and you’re prepared to wait for your opportunity. If you stay professional, then it’s an opportunity for everyone who steps out on the pitch Wednesday to do that.”
If he does play, then Davis will be making a return to a former stomping ground, but the goalkeeper believes too much has happened to both parties since his departure from Wearside to hold any grudges over his year-long stint in the north-east.
“It’s been such a long time since I was at Sunderland and they’ve certainly had their ups and downs since I left there, and I have as well,” he explained.
“So a lot of water has gone under the bridge since my days there, but you always want to do well – firstly for the team you’re playing in and for yourself as well. The fact we’re at Sunderland has no bearing really on what I want to achieve.
“It wasn’t a successful period in my career, but I certainly look back on it as a learning period in my career. There are things that I learned while I was there that I use today and obviously [they] make you stronger and give you different experiences.
“It’s a fantastic club and a fantastic stadium, and when things are going well there everything goes well – but, likewise, when it’s not going so well it can go the other way, and that’s a certain situation for them at the moment that affects them.
“They’ve changed their manager and they’re certainly in a difficult period at the moment, but it’s of no interest to me as we’re just looking to progress into the next round of the cup.”