Following a 1-0 win away to Sheffield United, the mood around Southampton and its supporters is largely positive, and there is potential for this to improve.
With Bournemouth making the trip across the south coast to St. Mary’s tonight, the Saints could have a chance to make it two wins out of two with a victory over Eddie Howe’s side, yet for fans, this game will be seen as largely one thing. The penultimate fixture before the derby against Portsmouth.
Indeed, the trek to Fratton Park next Tuesday is something that virtually every Saints fan has been waiting for since the draw was made back in August, and it is also a fixture that the players are well aware of in terms of it’s significance to both the city and fans of Southampton as reported by One Football, yet focusing on this game now can be dangerous.
Although a first South Coast Derby match in nearly seven years is football narrative at it’s finest, it’s easy to forget that the Premier League seemingly comes first for Ralph Hasenhuttl ahead of the League Cup, and three points against Bournemouth could potentially be a massive result for Southampton.
Of course, winning against Pompey will be something that Saints supporters talk about for months or even years to mock their League One rivals, but thinking too far ahead can make both fans and players lose sight of what really matters in the present, and that means performing well against the Cherries.
With Bournemouth picking up an impressive 3-1 win against Everton last weekend, Howe’s side will be up for this fixture tonight and could sense an opportunity to strike should Southampton let their heads drop.
The South Coast Derby is sure to be a momentous occasion, yet another three points in the early stages of the Premier League could go a long way for a club looking to finish in the top half of the table.