A club close to Nathan Jones’s heart, the Southampton boss is ready to cast aside sentiment when Brighton travel along the south coast on Boxing Day.
With fond memories of the club in both a player and coaching capacity, Jones is eager to send a message when his Southampton side take on the Seagulls at St Mary’s.
“I played there for five years at the Withdean Stadium (2000 to 2005),” said the boss. “I had a relatively successful time, three promotions and really enjoyed it.
“I met some good friends, good people, and built some sort of reputation there. Then I had the opportunity to go back as assistant manager to three managers.
“It gave me an education, it gave me a real kick in football and I got real good people there that helped me along my way.
“They really helped me in my progression and it’s a club close to my heart. It won’t be on Boxing Day!”
Conscious of the task at hand, Jones highlighted the need for his Southampton side to be at the very top of their game on Boxing Day.
“They’re a fantastic side. They’re a real, good forward-thinking side that is difficult to play against. We’re going to have to be at our best to get anything, but this is the test we want.
“This is the test of Premier League football. We’re going to come up against some fantastic sides and Brighton are no different.
"It's a fantastic occasion and that's why we came here. We're building something and we need a buy in from everyone, we need a minor bit of patience. It wasn't build in a day.
"We're trying to build something and it starts again now. It's a different competition come Boxing Day and we're going to go at it head on."