Kelvin Davis believes Saints’ FA Cup tie with Burnley provides them with the chance to return to winning ways and kickstart their cup campaign.
The goalkeeper is eager to atone for Southampton’s 3-0 league loss to Chelsea at the first opportunity but maintains the Clarets in the Third Round will be a tough proposition to overcome, especially with the unpredictable nature of The FA Cup.
Davis is adamant that if Saints can beat Burnley then it could act as a catalyst for a successful run in the competition – one he believes could take them all the way.
“Burnley is an opportunity for us to get back to winning ways,” he told reporters. “Full respect to Burnley, obviously. We’ve been there – not so long ago – playing against a Premier League club in The FA Cup and you give everything.
“On top of that, they’re doing very well in the Championship. They’ve got a good manager and they look like they’ve got a very good chance of getting promoted this year. We certainly won’t show them any disrespect.
“Obviously, I would say every Premier League club looks at The FA Cup in the early stages and think they can go on and win The FA Cup. It’s been proven that it’s not always the big teams in the league that win the cup.
“Of course we would love to [win the cup]. It’s also important that we win in the league and we keep the momentum going.”
Despite the defeat to Chelsea, the 37-year-old drew personal positives in how pleased he was to start in place of the injured Artur Boruc.
Davis confirmed he will continue to do everything he can for the club as a whole as he aims to make required saves and hit targets whenever possible.
“I’m buzzing – obviously I want to play as many games as I can,” the ‘keeper enthused. “I’m very driven to achieve as many games as I can for Southampton and I’ve got some personal goals in there that I want to achieve.
“I don’t wish injury on any player; I’m just happy to be in there, helping the team and the club as much as I can. It’s your job. Your role in the team is to make saves when called upon.”
The Club Captain expressed his belief that it was a spirited performance from Saints against the Blues on New Year’s Day, one where he felt they were highly unfortunate score – an occasion that has epitomised the side’s recent lack of luck.
He did not attribute the loss merely to luck not being on their side however, as Davis admitted Chelsea’s undeniable strength in depth and ability to bring on quality replacements shone through on the day.
“It was a defeat against a very good Chelsea team,” he summarised. “We move on and look forward to the next game.
“It certainly helped on their part (bringing on Willian and Oscar). The game changed at that period. They’re such a strong, powerful side and they’ve got good players – they had just a bit too much for us.
“From our point of view, when you go three-nil down, you don’t want to get a drumming. We stood up to that and didn’t give them any more opportunities. We’re obviously disappointed to concede three goals and disappointed to lose the game, but we still showed some heart and spirit even in a defeat. We move onto the next game.
“You see how they defend – very strong, they get behind the ball. I think I saw three unbelievable blocks all in one game that you don’t see in a season. We were unlucky not to score, that’s for sure. It’s very difficult against teams like Chelsea.
“I felt that we didn’t have a bit of Lady Luck. Even when [the ball] deflected, touched onto the post – it couldn’t have gone any straighter to [Fernando] Torres. The third goal was deflected as well. It was disappointing.
“We didn’t have that bit of luck but we don’t obviously rely on luck. We’ve worked very hard this season to put ourselves in this position. We’ve had a tough Christmas period against some great teams. It’s time for us to stand up and start again.”
Another plus point Davis saw in the Chelsea clash was how Martin Atkinson awarded Saints a free-kick rather than the Londoners a penalty when the ‘keeper challenged Oscar for the ball in the box.
The referee judged that the Brazilian took a tumble too easily – a decision Davis agreed with and was pleased to see.
“I was happy that he spotted that because I’ve seen them given,” he assessed. “I don’t like that because I could have ended up getting sent off on the back of that.
“To get that, you start thinking, ‘we might get something from this game’ with those little bits of good refereeing.
“As a goalkeeper myself, I can honestly say that I never try bringing anybody down. I’ve seen it so many times where players go round goalkeepers and stick it past the post.
“My philosophy has always been to never pull someone down and play the game honestly. I was disappointed with it but the referee saw it and gave the right decision, so I’m happy.”