By SFC Media time Sat 25 Feb Man Utd vs Saints

Steven Davis' aim is clear ahead of Sunday's EFL Cup final.

The prospect of winning Southampton's second ever major trophy is tantalisingly close for all involved, and should it be secured, Davis would be the man to lift it.

Although the 32-year-old has only recently taken on the position of club captain at St Mary's, he is by no means new to the role.

Experience tells him that he will relish the pressure and responsibility that comes with leading Saints out under Wembley's iconic arch.

“I will feel immense pride,” started Davis.

“I have obviously had the opportunity to wear the armband for a few years now at international level and on big occasions, like I did with the Euros in the summer - this will be another big moment.

“I have never played or even been to Wembley, so there is a lot of firsts for me. I am really excited for the challenge ahead and fully focussed on trying to go that one step further and lift some silverware.

“I went to the old Wembley for an FA Cup Final between Villa and Chelsea once, which was obviously quite a while back. It was a great experience. It was an iconic stadium and that has been carried into the new one, so it will be huge to actually go and play there.”

Steven Davis during the EFL Cup match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield, Liverpool, England on 25 January 2017. Photo by Matt Watson/SFC/Digital South.
Steven Davis in action during Southampton's 1-0 semi-final victory over Liverpool at Anfield.

The elephant in the room is that, had newly-appointed team captain Virgil van Dijk been available for selection, he - not Davis - would have been the man to lead Saints out at Wembley.

But that observation doesn’t startle the former Rangers man, who quickly concedes that he would swap the armband for a fully fit van Dijk at the drop of a hat.

“Of course I would much rather Virgil be fit, firing and leading the side out,” he explained.

“That’s a given, really. He’s obviously a huge miss and a huge player for us – any team in the league would miss him and the quality he has got.

“But the likes of Jack [Stephens] has obviously stepped up to the mark and shown the quality that he’s got since Virgil has been out.

“In fairness to Jack, he has had to bide his time for a while as well. It was a difficult situation for him to come into in the semi-final, but he’s shown maturity beyond his years. He can take a lot of confidence from that.”

The two-legged victory over Liverpool in the semi-final has put an extra spring in the Southampton camp ahead of Sunday according to Davis, as has the 2-0 victory away at Arsenal.

It's not been an easy run to make the final, and Saints are determined to make the most of it.

“It’s been a great run,” he continued.

“We’ve come up against tough opposition. We had to go to the Emirates and play a decent Arsenal side and then to get Liverpool in the semi-finals, who were a team in form at the time.

“To win both of those legs against Liverpool was a huge task. We were delighted to do that and now we have the final to look forward to. It’s been a great run but the only way you can really enjoy a final is to go and win it; I know that from past experience.

“It’s great to have the build up to the game and the closer it gets the more the excitement builds, but ultimately the end goal is to be standing there with some silverware at the end of it. Then whenever you look back on your career, those are the moments that you can cherish."