Pierre-Emile Højbjerg says Southampton want to make sure they head into the EFL Cup final on the back of a positive result against Sunderland.
Saints face Manchester United, at Wembley Stadium, later this month, but first have a big Premier League visit to the Black Cats.
Højbjerg knows how important three points would be, in terms of pushing the team back up the table, but also to give them a boost for the final.
"The most important right now is on Saturday, against Sunderland, because this is the groundstone to get a good result against Manchester in the final," he said.
Tomorrow's game could also be a chance for players to make their final case for inclusion in the team that starts at Wembley.
"I'm very sure that the coach knows what everybody has to give to the team, because we have been together seven months now and we have had many games," said Højbjerg.
"So the coach knows what every single player has to give to the group and, of course, the Sunderland game has a lot to say to the Manchester game, but we are a team and we need all to trust each other, and the ones who get the time need to use it well."