Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – that was Angus Gunn’s mantra ahead of last night’s Carabao Cup tie at Everton, where Southampton were victorious with the help of a little bit of homework.
The young goalkeeper was making only his second Saints appearance – the first coming in the previous round at Brighton – and was on course for a second successive clean sheet until former Saint Theo Walcott cancelled out Danny Ings’s first-half strike five minutes from time.
Cue penalties, where Gunn and Walcott went eye to eye again – this time with a very different result – prompting Cédric to score the winning spot-kick and the rookie stopper to hail the work behind the scenes that helped him know which way to dive.
“I was prepared, I knew everything I was going to do,” he said. “I think that’s just part of the game now – you’ve got to do your homework.
“You’ve got to know what people have done in the past and I took that into the game.
“Most of them I knew before they were taking it where they were going to go.
“I was pretty confident and I was disappointed not to save more in the end.
“The fifth penalty is always a big one because if you save it you’ve got one penalty to win it, and Cédric put it away.
“I would’ve preferred a clean sheet because I’ve not had one in a while! But I’ll take it all day and I’m glad we’ve come away with a win. All credit to the lads for putting the penalties away. We’re just happy we’re in the next round now.”
Gunn has made no secret of his desire to be Saints’ number one, and is determined to be ready on the day of his Premier League debut – whenever that may be.
“I just want to keep progressing in training and take every opportunity I get,” he added.
“You never know when an opportunity in the Premier League is going to come along, so I just want to be ready and that’s what I’ll keep trying to do.”