Southampton Under-23s striker Marcus Barnes is anticipating a physical battle when Everton visit Staplewood Campus tonight.
Despite the Toffees sitting top of the Premier League 2 table, Barnes explained that Saints head into the encounter in positive spirits, following their industrious display against a strong Chelsea side last weekend.
“They will be like any other Everton side,” he began.
“They will be hungry and aggressive to come here and get three points, so we know it will be a tough match.
“But, as a group, we have looked at last week’s performance against Chelsea and are very positive going forwards.
“We know that if we can play against Everton with that same enthusiasm as that, and with a bit more quality, then we will have a good game.”
Having missed the majority of the season so far through injury, Barnes returned to Under-23s action against last weekend against Chelsea.
And the 19-year-old was delighted to complete half-an-hour at Cobham.
“It was really nice to be back playing,” Barnes continued.
“It’s what I love doing and enjoy. I just want to play football, so to be back out there made all of the hard work I have done in the physio room worth it.
“Now for me it’s all about staying fit and getting some more minutes each game at a time. Hopefully then I can become consistent and try to push towards the first team.”