Southampton return to action in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League tonight, as they visit Norwich City.
A gap in the schedule means Martin Hunter’s side have not played since a 2-0 home defeat against Everton, on October 26.
Saints are currently fifth in the table and will be looking to bounce back from successive defeats, to Sunderland and the Toffees, after starting the season with a five-match unbeaten run.
Coach Radhi Jaïdi will take the Under-21s at Carrow Road, and he says the players can’t wait to get out there again after more than a month.
"It really was a long break for the boys,” he told youtube.com/southamptonfc. “The players can't wait for the games to get back.”
Full-back Josh Debayo, who has featured in all seven league matches this term, echoed those thoughts.
"It's been a while,” he said. “We've just been training, so we're good to go and start playing now. We're looking forward to the game on Monday.”
Saints will visit a Norwich side who are second from bottom in the table, but who are also coming off a 2-0 home win over their Manchester United counterparts.
Jaïdi said: “They have some quality up front, they try to play from the back, but, as I'm aware, they had some of the senior boys involved in the last game, against Manchester United, so I'm expecting some seniors to be involved in this game and I'm expecting a good test for our boys.”
Debayo added: "We played them a few times last season. We obviously know it's going to be a tough game away at Carrow Road.
“I've heard they've got quite a lot of fans who go to watch the games, so we're just buzzing to play in an environment like that. We will be tested, definitely.”
Indeed, Norwich had more than 5,000 supporters in attendance for their victory against United, and Jaïdi believes a big crowd again tonight would provide good experience for the players.
"That's going to be an even better challenge for the boys, playing against senior players in front of a big crowd, and that's what football is realistically,” he said.
“We want to replicate the senior level for these boys and to be aware what's happening in the next step, and that's the perfect test if that happens.”