Radhi Jaïdi is keen to see Southampton’s Checkatrade Trophy adventure continue, so his players can keep testing themselves against senior opposition.
Saints face Northampton at Sixfields tonight, knowing victory will guarantee progression to the knockout phase.
Jaïdi’s young charges lost 2-0 at Peterborough United before bouncing back with a 1-0 win at Cambridge United last month.
“We’re motivated and ready to go and compete,” he said.
“It’s a competition we like to be involved in. The boys have produced really positive performances in the two games so far, particularly away at Cambridge.
“I’ve watched a little bit of Northampton and I know the manager likes to play football.
“They still play pretty direct under pressure, but they’re slightly different to Cambridge in that as soon as the ball comes into the middle third, they play with tempo and energy.
“There will also be the physical aspect for us to deal with, so it’s a good challenge but I’m expecting the boys to step up and show their ability to perform.”
Jaïdi’s opposite number in the home dugout will be former Chelsea, Leeds and Middlesbrough striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
“We’ve been in touch and I’ve met him at certain venues,” Jaïdi added.
“He was one of the physically strongest centre-forwards I played against – it was always a fight between me and him!
“I have good memories of playing against him and it will be nice to revive those memories.”