Date: 29th November 2016 at 9:41pm
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Manager Claude Puel has now held his pre League Cup press conference ahead of tonight’s game against Arsenal.

Southampton travel to the Emirates Stadium later this evening for the quarter final tie and Puel told saintsfc in his pre game meet and greet that he believed we could lift the trophy this season and cause Arsenal an upset in the process.

‘To win this competition it`s important to win tomorrow. Every game is very difficult and in different competitions for the moment for us the most important is to stay qualified in different competitions and we will see this in the second part the possibilities to win something. For the moment it is important to see this game against Arsenal, keep a good concentration and to have a good performance and after we will see.’

Having bowed out of the competition at this stage in the previous two seasons, with Southampton’s upward trend, Puel also wants to see improvement here and put ourselves through to the semi finals.

‘It`s an opportunity for Southampton to win something and perhaps to have the ability to play European games for the next year. It`s an important game but it`s important also to consider and respect our philosophy. It`s not just for me, 11 players and experienced players, but to give opportunities also like Josh Sims the last game for young players to show their qualities. It`s a balance between good results and to continue this work with Southampton and to develop different players and to give also game time for players without time in the Premier League.’

He was also quoted talking about his confidence in Southampton being able to keep up our standards despite the hectic fixture list we face, but again that lends itself to rotation and players taking their opportunities when they are handed out.

‘Of course, I think it is difficult to play this game just after Everton, but it’s always a good opportunity to give game time for all the players and to keep every time a good physical level. We can see this against Everton. It was a game with fantastic intensity and this is possible just because we can rotate every time and keep the players with good fitness. It’s an important game, away from home, and I hope we can qualify at the end. It’s important to continue – it’s an objective for the squad.’

In terms of team news for the game, Puel also confirmed that Sofiane Boufal and Steven Davis both returned to contention for the game having missed the Premier League clash against Everton last weekend.

Boufal was out with a slight knock, and Davis missed out through illness, but both have been back in training this week.

Dusan Tadic and Matt Targett continue to be unavailable though.

‘Boufal comes back and Davis also. Tadic is not available and Targett also, and for the other players we will see the group for the game. It will be different. Some players will stay at home to recover and other players can give a good performance I hope.’

Puel also confirmed that after his sterling full debut, 19 year old Josh Sims would probably sit this one out.

‘We will see. I think for Josh it’s important now he stays quiet and can recover, not just physically but also mentally. It’s important he stays with a good spirit and good attitude. His work has just begun, it is not finished and it is important to keep him with a good attitude for the future.’

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