Martin Hunter wants more of the same when Southampton welcome Chelsea in the Under-21 Premier League Cup.
Saints produced an excellent performance at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season – picking up their first three points of the campaign thanks to a 3-1 victory.
Hunter’s side now welcome the Blues to Staplewood looking to defend the Under-21 Premier League Cup trophy they lifted last season.
“We’re expecting a very technical game – they try and play out from the back,” said Hunter. “I believe they’ve got several players back from loans.
“We’re expecting more of an experienced team from them to pit our wits against. They were a young team then and I think it’ll be a different Chelsea tomorrow.
“We’ll see what they come with – they are always very technical in terms of playing through the thirds, so it’ll be an entertaining game. We need more of the same.”
Having lifted the trophy last season, Hunter is well aware of the added pressure that will be on his players’ shoulders as they look to defend their title.
“It’s an important game. We’re champions and therefore you have to carry that mantle,” Hunter told youtube.com/southamptonfc.
“We’ve got to deal with Chelsea on Wednesday evening and see where that takes us. If we’re successful we’ll play Huddersfield, who are 12 games unbeaten and knocked Middlesbrough out.
“Obviously people will want to beat us, but it’s another game of football – the first of 2016 – and we want to win and give a good account of ourselves.”
The Chelsea clash kicks off a busy January for Hunter’s side, who were able to enjoy a short break over Christmas. “We’ve got five games in January, which is fantastic for the lads and we’re well prepared,” he added.
“They’ve trained hard over the last four or five days, so roll on Wednesday. Some of the younger players needed the break, while some of the Under-21s have been on standby.
“We played a couple of games before Christmas and performed well in one and not so well in the other, so now we need to get back into some sort of groove.”