Shane Long is looking forward to his return to former club Hull City on Saturday, but says Saints can expect a tough encounter.
Long spent the second half of last season at the KC Stadium before his summer move to Saints and grabbed his first goal for his new club on Wednesday night in the Capital One Cup.
Despite it being a brief spell with the Tigers, Long was grateful for the opportunity they gave him last season, ahead of his move to Saints in the summer.
He said: “It’s a bit strange because I’ve nothing but respect for Hull and the chance they gave me up there. The lads are great lads.
“You can see how they started this season – their last two results, Arsenal and Liverpool away, to come away with a draw in both games is very respectable.
“They will be glad to get home again and look at this as one of the three games where they’d hope to win. It is a tough place to go. They will dig in and cause us problems, but we’re confident that if we put in a performance we’re capable of, we can come away with the win.
“The fans were brilliant there to me and Steve Bruce and all the backroom staff were good to me. I got a bit of confidence up, knowing I was going to play every week in a good side.
“Steve Bruce has the record he has as a player and Aggers [Steve Agnew] is a good coach. There was a relaxed atmosphere, it was enjoyable and it is something I’ll always look back on as a good moment in my career.
“It will be nice to go back and see familiar faces again, but my eyes will be focused on the job and getting three points.”
Long made the decision to move to Saints this summer and despite being one of a number of new additions, always felt the squad was capable of performing well this season.
He added: “Southampton obviously really wanted to get me. When I came down and saw the set-up and met the manger and he spoke to me about what he wanted to do, it was an easy decision for me.
“People said it was a whole new squad and we were going to struggle this season, because there were so many new faces, but in a way, everybody kind of came in fresh and wanting to impress.
“We’ve hit the ground running. We’re going to have a few tests over the next couple of months, especially getting into December. We’re under no illusions.
“We deserve to be where we are, but it can be taken away from us so quickly, so we’ll get back to the drawing board ready for Hull on Saturday.”