Mark Hughes feels a lengthy Carabao Cup run can help Southampton’s fortunes in the Premier League, as they prepare for a trip to Everton in the third round.
Saints fell to a frustrating 2-0 defeat to Wolves at the weekend, and the boss has hinted at some changes for the meeting at Goodison Park.
A three-time winner of the competition as a player, he has called upon those handed the shirt on Tuesday night to seize their chance and help his side through to the next round to face Leicester City.
“I have always tried to give the competition the respect it deserves,” he said.
“I love cup ties. They generate a different atmosphere and as you get to the latter stages there is an energy about cup runs that helps your league form as well.
“There are only a certain amount of competitions we can realistically win, and clearly the League Cup is one of those so we want to do well if we can.
“I will make changes, clearly, because I have good players who need game time, but I did that against Brighton, another team from the Premier League, and we were able to overcome them, so we go to Everton with the intention of winning the tie.
“The changes in my view are necessary but I like to think the guys coming in will use it as an opportunity to ask more questions of myself in terms of the team in Premier League games.
“It can happen the longer you stay in the competition then the more you like to think you can see a clearer pathway to seeing a final and winning a trophy, and why wouldn’t you want to be part of that?”