Marcus Barnes is determined to progress in the Checkatrade Trophy with a victory over Reading on Wednesday night.
The 20-year-old wants the opportunity to continue to face senior league opposition, and earmarked the competition as a priority for Saints.
“Of course we go into every game wanting to win,” started Barnes.
“And we will prepare as usual and have a game plan that we want stick to – that’s regardless of whether we are facing a category one or league side.
“But this competition is the priority for us, and we want to continue to win and go as far as we can.
“We want to continue playing against league opposition as well because it’s good for our development, and to get a trophy at the end would be just wonderful.”
Barnes missed the previous cup encounter at St Mary’s due to injury, as Saints defeated Crawley Town 4-0.
The striker has since returned to Premier League 2 action for Martin Hunter’s men, but admits he is still just short of being 100%.
“I am getting there,” he continued.
“Obviously I need to continue to work hard in training and get some more match minutes under my belt.
“But I am getting sharper each game and week that we play – hopefully, with more training behind me, I am not too far away.”