Rickie Lambert says he's looking forward to catching up with friend and former Rochdale teammate Grant Holt when they face off at St Mary's tomorrow evening.
The pair have come a long way from the days when they formed a strike partnership for the Dale in League 2.
Lambert and Holt have both rapidly ascended to the Barclays Premier League having departed Spotland for Bristol Rovers and Nottingham Forest respectively in 2006.
Six years later, both are spearheading their sides' top-flight campaigns – a prospect Saints hitman Rickie insists was far from his thinking back when he and Holt were teammates.
"We were more worried about staying in the Football League than thinking about playing in the top flight one day,” he concedes ahead of tomorrow night's visit of Norwich.
"But it’s nice to see how Grant’s career has gone, and I’ll certainly be speaking to him tomorrow.
"We text each other now and again, and he’s given me quite a bit of advice over the past two years.
"I really enjoyed my time with Rochdale because I’d come off a bad spell at Stockport,” continues the frontman.
"My strike partner was Grant, and we hit it off almost straight away. Since then our career paths have kind of been the same.
"I’m just so happy with how his career has gone in the last few seasons, and the way he’s done in the Premier League is just brilliant to see.
"Perhaps we appreciate [playing in the top flight] more than most because of the paths that we have taken – I know for a fact that I appreciate where I am now."
Lambert came off during the closing stages of Sunday's 2-0 win over Newcastle United with a slight leg injury.
However, he is expecting to be fit to line up for Saints tomorrow night as his team look to rack up a third successive victory and move further away from the top-flight drop zone.
"I’ve always had belief we would get results," insists Rickie, who scored his fifth goal of the season in the victory over QPR ten days ago.
"Some of our performances earlier in the season were good but mistakes have cost us. It felt so good to finally get some wins, and hopefully we can push on now.
"It’d be massive if we could get three wins in a row," he concludes.
"There are a lot of teams close together, so back-to-back wins take you up a long way."
A full interview with Rickie Lambert appears in tomorrow's official matchday programme