Dean Hammond was the last man to lift a trophy for Southampton at Wembley – but he is optimistic someone else will take that accolade from him this weekend.
Hammond was captain when Saints won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, in 2010, and he will be nervously watching as they again head to the iconic stadium this Sunday, for the EFL Cup final against Manchester United.
"It's great for the club and well deserved as well,” said Hammond. “They've been through so many stepping stones, getting back to the Premier League, surviving in the Premier League, improving, getting into Europe and now getting to the cup final.
“It's exciting, and I can't wait to watch it. Unfortunately I can't go, but I can't wait to watch the game and I think if they can win it – which I think they will, I really think they will – it will be great for the club.
“Look how far it's come in eight, nine, ten years. It would be a special time for the fans and the football club.
"Obviously, it's a one-off game in the final, anything can happen, playing Manchester United, which is one of the biggest teams in the world, but I think the manager's doing a really good job there.
“They've got young boys coming through, so it will be a great experience for them. They'll have a game plan on the day. I'm confident if they can perform like they did against Liverpool then they've got a really good chance. It will be a close game I think, it won't be an open game, it won't be a 4-3 or a 3-3. It will be a tight game, but I think Southampton will edge it.
"It would show how far the club has come. It would be another great moment for the fans and the history of the football club. You want to get to cup finals, the club deserves to get there.
“For the club, it would be brilliant. It will be nice to see all that red and white, the fans coming out in numbers, and seeing the players celebrating taking a trophy round the pitch again – that would be great.”
dean hammondif you win, you'll never forget it, so it's worth the sacrifice.
former southampton captain
Reflecting on 2010, Hammond added: “The mentality we had when we played was to win, because I don't care what anyone says, you only enjoy it if you win.
“You can play brilliantly and lose 3-2, and you're not going to remember it the same, it's not going to feel the same. So my mentality and our mentality as a team was to win the game. If they win, it will be a fantastic day out.
“You never forget the experience and the celebrations afterwards. You never forget what it means to people when you speak to them after the game and in years to come. You'll never forget it, so it's worth the sacrifice.”