Southampton boss Claude Puel insists their midweek Premier League clash against Manchester United should not be billed as a revenge mission for their EFL Cup final agony in February.
Saints welcome Jose Mourinho’s men to St Mary’s on Wednesday in a rematch of their five-goal thriller at Wembley, when the south coast side were unfortunate to be on the losing side.
Southampton have not registered a Premier League home victory over Manchester United since 2003, when James Beattie scored a late winner for Gordon Strachan’s side, while United are currently on a four-game winless run in the league.
With a Europa League final on the horizon, Mourinho could shuffle his pack from the side who suffered a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham on Sunday. However, Puel dismissed the notion that Wednesday’s encounter presents the ideal time to face the Red Devils.
“No, no it’s just another game,” Puel said.
“It’s been a long time since the (EFL Cup) final against Manchester United, It’s a Premier League game, so we cannot just focus about that game. The game is not revenge because it’s important to keep a good energy and to enjoy our football and just to focus about this, not anything else.
“This team has great players and a strong squad. For example, (Ander) Herrera, (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan, (Paul) Pogba, and (Marcus) Rashford can all play against us because they were rested for the last game.
“In any game, they have a strong team and it will a difficult game against Manchester United and they will play with a good intensity and try and take points off us.”