Nigel Adkins believes his players will relish the challenge of upsetting one of the best home records in the country on Saturday.
Saints travel to Staffordshire aiming to inflict a first home defeat of the season on Stoke City, and Adkins is backing his team to find a way past Tony Pulis’s stubborn eighth place side.
“Well one point is better than none, but we are going for three,” the gaffer told Saints Player ahead of the weekend’s clash.
“You have to have a positive mindset about everything that you do, and we are going out with the ambition of getting three points to win a game away from home.
“We have done it before and we can do it again. Yes, Stoke are on a good run of form, and yes, going to the Britannia Stadium is always going to be a challenge, but it is one that we relish.
“I’m sure we will have a big following up there too because the support we had up at Fulham was outstanding as it has been all season. The players have to go there full of confidence because we know that we can go there and get something from the game, and the idea is to get three points.”
Adkins was buoyed by the Boxing Day draw at Craven Cottage, and says that the squad is raring to go again for their third fixture inside a week over the busy festive schedule.
“I have been in full time football since the age of 16 at Tranmere Rovers so the Christmas fixture period is something that we are all accustomed to.
“Maybe people from a different continent or from Europe are used to their winter breaks where they break up, but here in England we are used to it and we know the schedule and we look forward to it.
“The players were all in this morning and we did MOT’s and recovery sessions with them today (Thursday).
“As you might expect after any game there were one or two little niggles, but all being well everyone will be putting themselves forward for selection. We have a group of players who are all desperate to be in that starting eleven or if not be on the bench to have an impact from the bench.”
Opponents Stoke have a home record which reads: nine games played, five won and four drawn, conceding just four goals in that time. They head into the contest on the back of a 3-1 win over Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium.
“It is a place that we are looking forward to going to,” Nigel asserted. “Having been there myself, I know that it is a noisy environment.
“Stoke are obviously on a good run of form at the moment,” he added. “They don’t concede many goals and I think they have kept nine clean sheets so far this season.
“I think they deserve a lot of credit for the way that they have gone about things because they have made sure that they stay in the Premier League and play effective football.
“They don’t just lump it, they do pass the ball as well, and they work very hard, so we have to make sure that we work harder than them.”