Ryan Bertrand admits that the EFL Cup final is "subconsciously" on the Southampton players minds

Ryan Bertrand admits that the EFL Cup final is "subconsciously" on the Southampton players minds

The 27-year-old has admitted that the prospect of silverware is prioritizing league form at the moment.

olivermiles
Oliver Miles

Ryan Bertrand has admitted that the upcoming EFL Cup Final with Manchester United is "subconsciously" on the players minds.
The England international has said that the excitement has never really dropped since the 1-0 win over Liverpool in January, and that the first prospect of silverware for 41 years is reducing the focus on their Premier League campaign.

League form

Left-back Bertrand admitted that they "need the points" as Southampton go into Saturday's fixture with struggling Sunderland on the back of six defeats in their last seven league fixtures and said that this weekend's game would provide much needed confidence ahead of the fixture against Manchester United

Getting dragged into it the relegation scrap?

With teams such as Hull City and Swansea looking to be rejuvenated under their new managers, sides like Southampton and south-coast rivals Bournemouth have the strong possibility of being dragged into the relegation battle, should their poor form continue.

It's not the first time that the Saints league form has been distracted by a cup competition with the Europa League causing a stuttering start to Southampton's domestic campaign before a strong November and early December leading Claude Puel's men to pick up much needed points.

Cup competitions a hinderance?

It happens many a time, a mid-table side, established in England's top division will try and conquer the cup competitions, but it's not always successful....

Wigan (2012-2013) - FA Cup Winners

In what was Spaniard Roberto Martinez's last season with the Latics, he lead them to FA Cup glory. But with the ecstasy of a trophy came the agony of relegation which has seen the north-west outfit remain out of the Premier League ever since.

Birmingham (2010-2011) - Carling Cup winners

Obafemi Martins capitalised on a late blunder from both Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny to leave the net wide open for the Nigerian striker to claim what was then known as the Carling Cup. These celebrations were short lived however, as the Blues finished the campaign in 18th place and have yet to return to the top flight of English football.

Portsmouth (2009-2010) - FA Cup finalists

A dismal campaign for the south-coast side began with a nine-point deduction in the Premier League which almost guaranteed relegation before a ball was kicked that season. With this, a cup competition was the main aim for the side managed then by Avram Grant. A second FA Cup Final appearance in two years saw them come up against Chelsea. A penalty save from Petr Cech deflated Grant's side and led to a Didier Drogba free-kick firing Chelsea to a domestic double.

Surely not Southampton...?

It will be interesting to see how Southampton perform when they face the Red Devils at Wembley, but one thing is for certain, a distraction at this period of the season could have disastrous effect for Bertrand and his team-mates as the other teams around them look to drag them into the battle to stay in the top flight.
 

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