Southampton Under-23s’ season concludes with a nail-biter on Monday night, when St Mary’s plays host to this year's Premier League 2 play-off final.
Newcastle United are the challengers, having seen off Reading in their respective semi-final, while Saints brushed aside Aston Villa a week ago to earn their deserved shot at promotion.
It’s a winner takes all affair, with the victors sealing a place in next year’s PL2 Division One campaign, and inevitable heartbreak for the losing side, who will continue to challenge in the league’s second division next term.
Coach Radhi Jaïdi is exceptionally proud of his young troops, having battled hard all season to reach this position, and explains that winning promotion would be the perfect way to round off an outstanding year.
“We can be proud no matter what the result is on Monday night, but of course we want to win it,” Jaïdi began.
“They've come far this season. We've worked hard all year and credit goes to the boys themselves who have matured as the season has gone on.
“There have been improvements on and off the pitch. The last period has been a series of one-off games in way, with how important each result has been.
“But this is the cup final now. We've enjoyed the challenge, and it's been a game of very fine margins. The boys have benefited a lot from it.
“There will be opportunities for us on Monday night, and we need to grab them. The fans have supported us in our key fixtures at St Mary's this season and of course we'll need them again against Newcastle.”