Ryan Bertrand says he wouldn’t mind dropping a couple of places in the Premier League this season if it meant Southampton would walk away from Sunday’s EFL Cup final at Wembley as winners.
Southampton’s last trophy came way back in 1976 when they narrowly defeated Manchester United 1-0 courtesy of an 83rd-minute striker from forward Bobby Stokes.
The Saints, who are 3.00 outsiders to win the EFL Cup outright, will be hoping for a repeat of that scoreline when they go head-to-head with the Red Devils again.
Jose Mourinho’s men go into the contest off the back of a 1-0 win away at Saint-Etienne on Wednesday night in the Europa League and the 20-time English champions are still fighting for silverware on four fronts.
It will be a stern challenge for Claude Puel’s side but they also arrive at Wembley in decent form, having thrashed relegation-threatened Sunderland 4-0 last time out.
Southampton have not been in competitive action since February 11 and that extended break, which has allowed the preparations to be perfect, could give them a slight edge.
Left-back Bertrand, who has scored once from 17 Premier League appearances this season, is dreaming of lifting the trophy on Sunday and he admits adding some silverware to the cabinet outweighs finishing higher up in the league table.
“You’d definitely sacrifice a position or two [in the Premier League],” he told the Daily Echo.
“In recent years we’ve set a very high standards. “Perhaps not every year, but this season, naturally, you would sacrifice places for a bit of silverware.”
United, who are 1.40 to win the cup outright, are 1.80 to win the match, a draw is priced at 3.60 while the Saints are 5.00 outsiders.