Fraser looks ahead to Inter trip
With Southampton heading to Inter for a UEFA Europa League clash this week, we spoke to keeper Fraser Forster about the game and his experience of the San Siro.
Fraser, the trip to Inter is one that is highly-anticipated by the fans. What is the sense of excitement like for the players?
"We're going into the game in good form. We've got a good month behind us now and picked up results in the Europa League, so if we can go there, put in a good performance and come out with a result that will put us in a really good position in the group, moving into the second half of the games."
You played at the San Siro with Celtic. Can you give us an insight into what it's like to play there?
"It's obviously quite an old stadium now, but it's still fantastic. It's got a lot of tradition. It will be a fantastic atmosphere and a really tough game. It's definitely one that the lads can look forward to and it's a great place to go and play football.
How pleased are you that nearly 7,000 Saints fans will be supporting you at the game?
"It's brilliant. Not many clubs would ever take that many fans with them, and to have that support makes a huge difference. It's a tough place to go and play, and European games can be very tough. So to have that many fans really getting behind the team will be something special."
How much do you enjoy these European nights and what makes them so special?
"They're just completely different to the league, and I think that's what makes them so special. They're very unique, you get to go to some fantastic places, you get to go and play Inter Milan at the San Siro. If you look at how the club's progressed, it's obviously a fantastic achievement and shows that the club's moving in the right direction.
"It's hard to say why it's different, but the atmosphere's a bit different, and I think every game is just so important. You want to come out of it with a result, and it's so important you win your home games. The fans have been awesome in every game, and they'll do that away from home."
IF WE GO AND WIN it will be a massive statement.Fraser forster
How frustrating was it for you to miss the European games last season?
"It was obviously frustrating for me being injured at the time, but I think generally everyone was frustrated with how it went, because everyone wanted to make it through to the group stage and we didn't do that, but we've learnt from that and taken that experience into this season, and we've really looked comfortable at times within that group and I think it looks like we deserve to be playing in Europe and we've been putting in some positive performances when we've had the opportunity."
If you can go to Inter and win, how big a statement will that be for the team and the club?
"If we go and do that it will be a massive statement. You look where the club was just a few years ago and even in the time since I've joined the club – you meet the owner and you meet the chairman, and when we came to the club that's what they said, that they wanted to move the club forward and get into Europe, and every summer they've backed us. They've bought players, and step by step we're achieving those goals and hopefully we can do ourselves proud in the game, and if we can come out of it with three points that will be a massive achievement."
For all the talk of the occasion, it's also a very important game, isn't it?
"If we can go there and win, that puts us in a really, really strong position in the group. It's tough to go away from home and win – we saw that in Israel. But if we can come away with a positive result, every point's vital, and it would just make things a little bit more comfortable within the group. Ideally we want to go and win, but any kind of positive result would be good, and then of the last three games we've got two at home, so it puts us in a very strong position."