Radhi Jaïdi is not underestimating the size of the challenge facing Southampton Under-23s when they visit Goodison Park on Monday night.
Everton are currently six points clear of second in the Premier League 2 table, but Jaïdi is confident his players can rise to the test.
“They are top of the table for a reason,” he started.
“It will be a different game to our last one against Bristol City, but our challenge is to make sure we are ready and prepared for it.
“They are a team that have been together for a long time, are confident and have quality throughout the pitch, so there are lots of aspects to look at.”
Saints fought out a 1-1 draw with the Toffees when they visited Staplewood Campus back in November.
Olufela Olomola’s strike cancelled out Oumar Niasse’s opener that evening, and Jaïdi know his side will once again need to be braced for a physical battle.
“It’s always a hard game against Everton,” he continued.
“As a team they will challenge you in all thirds of the pitch and can look to be physical and aggressive.
“They also have quality up front, so I am expecting our back four to deal with some good strikers - it’s also an even bigger challenge for our midfield.”