Armani Little says Southampton’s Under-21s side must win the physical battle with Reading if they are to prevail at Staplewood tonight.
Martin Hunter’s team welcome the Royals for a Barclays Under-21 Premier League fixture, as they look to end a five-game run without a win in the division.
Little, who scored a consolation in last week’s 3-1 defeat to Everton, explained that the players must stand up to their opponents this evening.
“They're a physical team, so we can't get bullied,” he told Southampton’s official YouTube channel. “We’ve got to win our one-v-ones and then take it from there.
“They’re direct and look to get the second balls. They're quite a physical side, so we have to win the battle first and then play our football.”
Saints’ last home fixture saw them turn in an encouraging performance in a 1-1 draw against Tottenham, at St Mary’s, and, with Chelsea also visiting next week before a run of away fixtures, Little is targeting two positive results in the coming eight days.
"It would be nice to get two wins, especially as we're at home and we've not been getting the best results, so a good team performance and two wins would be brilliant,” said the midfielder.
On a personal level, Little is also hoping he can build on his strike against Everton last week.
"It was a good to get a goal and I'm looking to add that to my game, so I'll keep pushing on and keep trying to get more goals and play better,” he said.
"We have to carry on pushing on, working hard in training every day to try to get better and push on so we can get higher up in the table.”