Captain Jose Fonte insists Saints will be taking the cup competitions “very seriously” this season ahead of their Capital One Cup second round tie at Championship side Millwall tonight.
Fonte took the match day skipper’s armband from Adam Lallana – with Kelvin Davis remaining club captain – after he left for Liverpool this summer.
And one thing high on the Portuguese’s agenda, in his new position, is ambitions of taking Saints all the way to a Wembley final.
Last season, much to the disappointment of supporters, Mauricio Pochettino insisted on playing a weakened side in cup ties.
That decision inevitably resulted in Saints getting eliminated from the FA Cup and Capital One Cup, when perhaps they could have used the knockout competitions as a means of keeping their campaign interesting with their league status confirmed.
In the fourth round of the League Cup, Saints were beaten 2-1 at Sunderland in November before, again, suffering defeat at the Stadium of Light in the FA Cup 1-0 in the fifth round.
But this season will be different, according to Fonte, and is an ideal time to put impetus on a domestic cup.
“It’s a great opportunity to go on a run,” he said. “It’s something we are going to take very seriously.
“That is one of the main things for us this year because we don’t have any European competition.
“We need to focus mostly on the league but cups are very important to us and we want to do well in them.
“Who knows, we could get to Wembley.”
The 30-year-old centre half tasted cup success in his first season at St Mary’s when he helped lift the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with Saints beating Carlisle 4-1 in the 2009/10 final.
Earlier that campaign, the ex-Crystal Palace defender made his Saints debut at Millwall in January 2010.
Rickie Lambert was on the score sheet in the 1-1 draw.