Southampton Under-23s coach Radhi Jaïdi has called upon his players to seize the opportunity of progressing in the Premier League Cup.
Saints host Newcastle United on Friday afternoon in the contest, with the fixture coming at a pivotal moment in the campaign for Jaïdi’s side.
Currently sitting third in the group standings, a victory could see Saints leap up into pole position ahead of the final two group games.
“The win is really important for us,” Jaïdi explained.
“With the defeat at home to Bristol City we need a win to keep us on track and progress in this competition.
“To give yourself an opportunity to win this cup is a massive achievement for these boys – it will stick in their minds all their lives.
“So it’s an amazing thing to succeed in and hopefully the lads will seize the opportunity to do just that, starting against Newcastle.”
As well as previewing the upcoming game, Jaïdi also took time to heap praise on midfielder Josh Sims.
The 19-year-old recently made a swift transition from under-23s to first-team football with a blistering debut against Everton in the Premier League.
“We are all so pleased for Simsy,” he continued.
“This season he has started really well for the Under-23s and has been consistent in everything he has been doing.
“I liked what he said after the Everton match, that he enjoyed the game and it was fun for him – that’s a great message for the younger boys.
“It shows that if you do the basics and do them right, that means you can enjoy the game even at that level.”