Oriol Romeu says there is no underestimating the importance of Saturday’s trip to Sunderland.
Saints head to the Stadium of Light to take on the Premier League’s bottom-placed side, but also a team that is high on confidence, after the Black Cats drew 0-0 with high-flying Tottenham and thrashed Crystal Palace 4-0 away from home in their past two outings.
Meanwhile, Claude Puel’s men are coming off back-to-back losses in the Premier League, which has seen them slip to 13th, ahead of their last game before the EFL Cup final.
"It is very important,” said Romeu of the trip to Sunderland. “We haven't felt very good playing the last games and also playing away we haven't played our best football, so it will be tough, because they need those three points.
“They are in a difficult situation, and if we want to enjoy the league, if we want to play much better football then we need to start winning games and to have the confidence back.”
Romeu added: "They have had ups and downs along the season, and now they want to come back.
“They are in a difficult situation in the table, and I'm sure they want to get out from there. We just want to make sure they have no chances to win the game, that we go there with our heads right into the game and winning that game. We really need it and we really want it.
"We need to build also a little bit for what's coming, with the final. Thinking of this next game, if we win it that will give us a massive confidence boost to go into the next one, which will be also very important.
“If we can win the next two games it will be something very nice and we could also carry on for the rest of the season.”