Oriol looks to EFL Cup final
For Oriol Romeu, the 2016/17 season has already held plenty of cherished memories.
But, for all that he will treasure his three Player of the Month awards and his new, long-term contract, there is one thing that would stand out above all else – lifting the EFL Cup trophy.
"It's something that we've been fighting a lot for,” says Romeu, as he looks ahead to the clash with Manchester United, at Wembley Stadium.
“I think it's going to be a different game, it's not going to be like a league game. There will be some other situations that we need to deal with, but I think we are ready.
“We have a mixture of young people and experienced players in the team.
“We want to enjoy it, we want to have fun, but we want to win the match, because getting there without winning will mean nothing to us.
“A trophy would mean a lot to us and we will give our best for it.”
Romeu himself has an interest in history, and when it comes to Southampton’s past in the cups, he knows full well how scarce success has been, with the club’s last major trophy coming in 1976, when, coincidentally, they beat United in the FA Cup final, at Wembley.
“After so many years, winning another trophy, another cup, it would be amazing to be in that team, it would be amazing to win that for the fans and the club and we are all really looking forward to get that feeling,” he explains.
"Getting there means a lot to everyone and I think we all will enjoy it a lot.
“I'm sure the fans will enjoy the day, getting there again in a cup final after so many years. It will mean a lot to them, but also to us. It will be an amazing experience for us.
"It would be amazing to get the trophy. I think also it would gives us so much confidence for the rest of the months. We still want to fight in the league and get better. That would push us, that would make us feel much better playing, and hopefully we can get all those positives things together and finish this year in a good way.”
Romeu has some experience of big occasions already, having been with Chelsea during their Champions League and Europa League victories, although he was not involved in the squads for the those finals.
This time, therefore, it will mean a whole lot more to him.
"I've been not involved [in big finals], but I've been at the Champions League final,” he says. “Europa League also, I was in the stands, and it's not the same, but it's also very nice to have those experiences.
“But I think it will be completely different to be involved, and having that trophy I would feel that I really worked for it and I did all my best to get that trophy into our club.”