Callum Slattery's first-half double inspired a 2-0 win for Southampton's Under-23s away to Watford, as Radhi Jaïdi's side strengthened their grip on top spot in Group B.
With one Premier League Cup fixture remaining, Saints are in pole position, but face a difficult away trip to Blackburn to round off their group games.
Slattery's brace takes his seasonal tally to five, a return which the the teenage midfielder is keen to improve on during the remainder of the season.
"Yeah definitely, it is always nice to get a couple of goals and to help the team with the win," the 19-year-old said. "Obviously, the most important thing was the three points.
"I always aim to put my free-kicks it in to a dangerous area. If someone gets a touch and it goes in, or it goes straight through it is a goal either way.
"I was obviously in a position to get the hat-trick, thought I might have had a penalty shout in the second half but the ref didn't give it. I want to score goals more regularly.
"Me and Radhi have had a few chats over the last few weeks, working on bits of my game that I need to improve - defensively and out of possession, and it is starting to kick in now.
"All the boys are feeling confident after the Watford win, and that adds to the few recent wins. We need to maintain that."