Jack Cork hopes tonight’s game against AFC Bournemouth will have more bite about it than the average friendly.
Saints make the short journey through the New Forest this evening to take on the Cherries for the first time in three years.
And midfielder Cork, who had a couple of loan spells at Dean Court during the 2006/07 season when he was a youngster at Chelsea, is looking forward to the game.
“I know it’s only a friendly but I’m sure our fans will want to win, so hopefully this’ll be a little bit more than that,” he told youtube.com/southamptonfc.
“I played against Portsmouth when we were in the Championship but I haven’t managed to play against Bournemouth yet, although I know the last game [against them] was quite enjoyable.
“I had a really good time down there – it was my first loan away and Kevin Bond was really good with me when I was down there.
“Tonight it’ll be a competitive game and one we’ll hopefully get a win from.”
This will be Saints’ fourth friendly fixture ahead of the new campaign, after wins over EHC Hoensbroek, Sporting Hasselt and Swindon Town.
And Cork is pleased with how things have progressed so far under new coach Ronald Koeman: “It’s been really good,” he affirmed of the first month’s training.
“The results have been brilliant. We’ve scored a lot of goals and we’ve kept clean sheets in all of our games, so hopefully we can keep that going throughout the rest of pre-season.
“We’ve matched all of the aims we wanted to meet in those games so far, and we’ve given the younger lads a lot of playing time in all three of them.
“Not conceding any goals is going to give everyone – both the younger lads and the older lads – a lot of confidence going into the new season.
“A few of the lads felt a bit rusty in the first couple of games but I think we’re starting to get back to match fitness, which you can see in the passing we’re doing in training. Everyone is starting to sharpen up now.
“It’ll take another couple of weeks for everyone to be 100%, but it’s good to slowly build up pre-season like we have been.
“It’s good to have had a bit of time to settle in with the new manager, and to see how he wants to do things and how he wants us to play.
“I think that everyone is starting to adapt and get used to his training methods, and I think everyone is enjoying it so far.”
Watch the full interview with Jack Cork below: