Young defender Matt Targett says Southampton will head to Denmark confident of progressing to the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.
Following a 1-1 draw with FC Midtjylland in the first leg at St Mary’s last week, Saints know they will need to score at the MCH Arena on Thursday night if they are to reach the next round.
Jay Rodriguez’s penalty gave Ronald Koeman’s men a lifeline last week having fallen behind to a goal from Tim Sparv in the first 45 minutes of the first leg.
Targett, who has started all but one of Southampton’s competitive games so far this season in the absence of Ryan Bertrand, believes enough was shown in the second half last week to suggest Koeman’s side can progress against the Danish champions.
“First half against Midtjylland we didn’t play up to our usual standard,” Targett told reporters. “In the second half we came out fighting and really took the game to them.
“We got the important goal that we needed to make sure we’ll go to their place with confidence to get the result.
“As a young player you want to play in as many big games as you can in Europe and the Premier League. It’s always good to play in them and it has been a good experience for me personally.”
Saints picked up their first clean sheet of the season against Watford in the Premier League on Sunday as they switched to a 3-5-2 formation for the first time against the Hornets.
It was, according to Targett, an important moment. “The main thing on Sunday was the clean sheet to get back to our good defensive ways on which we built last season,” he added.
“If we keep a clean sheet in every game we have a platform to go on and get the win. There was more stability at the back and we have time to work on creating more upfront.”