Head coach previews cup meeting with Saints.
Gus Poyet is more than familiar with Southampton as he prepares to face the Saints for a third time since taking charge in October.
The Uruguayan’s record against the south coast club reads one win and one draw, with a 2-1 Capital One Cup victory on Wearside followed by a 2-2 league draw on Wearside.
Poyet feels both games have proved key in their own way and says his side will be up for another test tomorrow with a place in the last eight of the FA Cup with Budweiser up for grabs.
I think we need to play after the disappointment in midweek and a few players are going to have a chance
- Gus Poyet
“The first game [Southampton] was very important in terms of how we started playing,” he said.
“But the second was more so because of the way we came back after a difficult first half an hour.
“Southampton are a tough team to beat; they have a great system of play.
“I think we need to play after the disappointment in midweek and a few players are going to have a chance.
“We have a team that is going to be fighting for this opportunity.”
He added: “The cups have been unique, special, and I hope that continues.
“The way we take every game is that the next one is the most important.”
Meanwhile Poyet says his side must produce a better start than the last league encounter between the teams, where the hosts came back from 2-0 to claim a point.
Fabio Borini and Adam Johnson struck to claim a share of the spoils after Southampton had raced into a commanding lead.
“In football you need to be solid and know when to press, but at the same time you needed to attack.
“That day we were confused; we weren’t doing one or the other, but when we really relaxed with the game ‘lost’ – in inverted commas – we started playing the game properly and really went for it.
“Without a doubt we deserved a draw. We showed we can compete."