Claude Puel has praised the philosophy instilled by counterpart Eddie Howe, as Southampton prepare to go head-to-head with AFC Bournemouth this weekend.
Saints are currently three games unbeaten after a frustrating draw against Stoke City in midweek, while Bournemouth will be encouraged by recent home wins against Liverpool and Leicester City.
“It will be an exciting game because there is a good rivalry between the two clubs and it’s an important game for us and our fans,” Puel said.
“It’s important to give a good answer on the pitch. It’s a little stadium and it’s always difficult to play against this team.
“They’re a good team with technical players and a good philosophy. It’s the same philosophy here so it will be interesting.”
With both sides looking to build momentum in a busy festive period, Puel has also called upon his players to remain focused amid the derby atmosphere.
He added: “It’s always a little different with a good atmosphere. It’s important to think about our game and keep a good lucidity around all of this.”