Saints defender moves on from EFL Cup
Amid the pain and the tears, Jack Stephens was still able to look around and find hope.
Southampton had just lost the EFL Cup final in heart-breaking fashion, and the Wembley pitch was a tough place to be for the players.
While their Manchester United counterparts celebrated on one side, they were left on the other to come to terms with what had happened.
at the full-time whistle, we were all together, the fans were still singing, so we showed a great togetherness to take the result.jack stephens
Like many others, Stephens was visibly distraught in the aftermath of the match, but, even at such a low point, there was still solace to be found.
"I was absolutely gutted, and I know all the lads were and all the staff as well,” said the 23-year-old a few days on from Wembley.
“I think that's what we've got to look at going forward, because at the full-time whistle we were all together, the fans were still there singing, so we showed a great togetherness to take the result together, and I know if we can use that moving forward we will be absolutely fine.”
With Saints preparing to visit Watford in the Premier League tomorrow, Stephens believes the time has now come to put the pain of Wembley behind them and focus on what they can go on to achieve in the future.
He said: "It was really tough to take on the day, especially playing so well – we thought we deserved more than what we got, but that's football.
“Slowly, in time, we'll get over it, and we've got things to focus on looking forward now.
"I think, looking back, we can be proud of how we played, dominating a team as good as Man United. We've made them look pretty average at times and, obviously, it's disappointing to lose, but we can look back and be proud, and as long as we take that performance forward and put it into the Premier League I'm sure we'll have no problems.
"We want to improve our league position, and if we play like we did on Sunday I'm sure that we'll do that. And we want to get back to a cup final as soon as possible, because I think that gave everyone a feeling of what it's like.
“I know a few lads had played in cup finals already, but Sunday was a great game, a great experience, the fans were brilliant, and it just made me want to get back there.”