The EFL Cup final might be appearing on the horizon for Southampton, but Claude Puel has only one game on his mind right now – tomorrow’s trip to Sunderland.
Saints visit the Black Cats for a Premier League clash, in what is their final fixture before they head to Wembley Stadium later in the month.
While the upcoming final will represent a huge moment for the club, Puel’s focus is only on securing three points this weekend and starting to climb back up the table.
"The final is a long way away,” he said. “We have time to prepare for this game.
“The priority is this game against Sunderland, and just this. After this, we will have 15 days to prepare for the final, and that is a long time.
“The priority now is Sunderland and focusing on this team. They are in confidence at the moment, but the most important is to have good concentration and also to have many chances to score.”
With Saints having lost six of their past seven Premier League games, Puel added: "Of course, it's important to win this game. A good result at the end is very important.
“We have had many losses and it's important to have a good reaction and a good answer. We have trained very well this week. I know we are going to make a good game, with a good attitude and good play.”