Jose Fonte has warned Liverpool and Tottenham not to underestimate Southampton and says the Saints are not ruling out a top-four push.
After Saturday’s 1-0 win at Sunderland the Saints sit in seventh, one place below Spurs and two above the Reds, and Ronald Koeman’s side remain unbeaten away from home.
Fonte insists the stature of their rivals will count for nothing in the push for Europe this season, with the defender looking to capitalise on Chelsea’s woes by staking a claim for a Champions League place.
He said: “Obviously, Liverpool and Spurs are massive clubs. But history and tradition does not play a part in where you finish. We have already shown we can compete with them.
“We do not see ourselves as a smaller team than those clubs. We know we are a good team and a club that has been doing very well lately. We have the ambition, and our manager has the ambition, to finish as high as possible.
“The Champions League place could be open this year. Even last year we were not too far away from it. I think just nine points away. If we hadn’t hit that bad patch of five or six without a win we could have got something.
“I think we are a better team than last season. We look strong and we are going to give it a real go.”