Dom Gape says memories of last season’s Under-21 Premier League Cup run mean Saints will need little motivation for Wednesday night’s clash with Chelsea.
Martin Hunter’s side welcome their Blues counterparts to Staplewood in the Round of 32 as they begin the defence of the trophy they won so impressively last season.
Gape, who took over captaincy of the development side from Jason McCarthy this season, says he and his teammates will be well prepared for their first game of 2016.
“With a game like this it doesn’t take a lot to get up for it. It’s a massive game – we’re the holders of the trophy – so it’s ours to defend,” Gape told youtube.com/southamptonfc.
“The boys are all ready to go. Everybody will be out to beat us as the champions, but we should thrive off that.
“That feeling in the final should live with everyone, so if we all want to taste that again, then there’ll be some very good performances.
“We need to look back at the run and look at the things we could have done better, because it’s knockout football.
“It’s different to the league, but we should be able to use our experiences to help us.”
Saints impressively beat Chelsea in the league at Stamford Bridge earlier this season and Gape says that victory should fill Hunter’s men will confidence ahead of Wednesday’s clash.
“It’s Chelsea, so they will be good technically and we have to look at ways to combat that and play to our strengths like we did when we played them earlier in the season,” said Gape.
“It was a really good team performance. Everything came together in terms of our gameplan.
“If we do the right things and execute our gameplan then we are more than capable of beating them.
“It’s a challenge, but we’ve done some extra work and we’ve been back in for a few days over Christmas to make sure we’re ready for that.”