Matt Le Tissier says Southampton have to believe that they can win the EFL Cup as they complete their final preparations ahead of Sunday’s showdown.
Saints make their first return to the final of this competition since 1979, and Le Tissier, who played at Wembley in the Zenith Data Systems Cup Final with Southampton in 1992, says they’ll be plenty of anticipation from players and supporters alike ahead of the big day.
Le Tissier has taken inspiration from previous trips to the home of football, but also believes that Saints have an advantage from having a break between games, unlike their opponents.
“When you get to a Wembley final, it doesn’t matter who the opposition are, you all believe that you can go and win it,” he said.
“It’s going to be difficult, yes, but if you ask any Saints fan, I think even the most pessimistic ones will still give us a chance of going out there and lifting that trophy.
“United are on a decent run but we’ve got some very good players in our side who can beat any team on any given day as they’ve proved going to Arsenal and going to Liverpool, so we’re not without a chance in this.
“I think at this time of year I would have probably preferred to have had the two-week rest leading up to it,” Le Tissier added.
“United will have had to play three games in the space that we’ve had none, so I think that could be a little bit of an advantage. Not all of their players are going to play in all of those games, but I think the freshness going into it should help us out a little bit.”
As a player, Le Tissier appeared at Wembley on a handful of occasions for the national team, and says the feeling of going there is still special for anyone.
“It’s just tremendous excitement, knowing you’ve got the chance to play at the home of English football,” he said. “As a kid growing up you just dream of playing at Wembley and those players will be feeling the butterflies in the stomach from here on in.
“To the players I’d say that this is a chance for you to go down in the history of the football club. We’ve had one team that’s won a major competition in our history and those boys some 40-plus years on are still hailed as heroes amongst the fans, and you boys have the chance to have that again. Imagine in 40 years’ time from now people still idolising you because you won a trophy for this fantastic football club.”