Adam Lallana hopes Saints finally get one over on Tottenham when the teams play each other on Sunday.
The skipper has been involved in three defeats to Spurs all by the odd goal since the club’s return to the Premier League last season, and believes that now is the time to prove that the gap is much closer than that.
A hard-working display at White Hart Lane towards the end of last season was broken by a late Gareth Bale strike in a 1-0 defeat, and earlier this year, Saints were undone by another individual in good form which has made the determination from Lallana even greater this time around.
“I remember that (Emmanuel) Adebayor was the difference that day,” Adam recalled of the 3-2 loss at St Mary’s in December. “He was strong and almost had a point to prove because Sherwood brought him back into the fold so he was almost unplayable in that game.
“Someone with that talent when he wants to play is unbelievable and hopefully we’ll keep him a bit quieter this Sunday and get a good result.
“We lost 1-0 when (Gareth) Bale popped up there last season but we had great chances in that game I thought and played really well, so it’s a game that the lads are really looking forward to and will be a good fixture for us.”
Saints go into the match on the back of successive victories over Crystal Palace and Norwich City with last weekend’s laboured win over the Canaries a valuable lesson learned by the team who could close to within five points of Tottenham with a win away from home on Sunday.
“We’re relaxed and confident I think,” said Lallana. “It wasn’t the greatest performance last weekend, but we got the job done and we’ll take that result and the confidence that comes with it into the game on Sunday against Tottenham which is a massive, winnable game for us. They’ve got a tough fixture on Thursday night, so we want to take advantage of that and put them up against it from the first minute.
“They made a few big money signings in the summer and people say they haven’t featured much, but they’ve had some tough, tough games in both the league and in Europe, and they face another tough game on Thursday night so hopefully we’ll capitalise on that and give it a right good go.
“There’s a good feeling and good atmosphere there with a great crowd,” Lallana added. “The Tottenham fans get behind the team so it’s a real good atmosphere to play your football in, and we’re looking forward to it.
“As a footballer it’s one of the tougher grounds to go to. It’s one of the older more historic grounds where the crowd are on top of you so it’s nice to play in too.”