Danny Ings: Portsmouth and Southampton clash bigger than Liverpool and Everton derby
Danny Ings savoured his first taste of a south-coast derby and revealed: It's the biggest derby I've played in.
The former Liverpool forward netted twice as Pompey were condemned to a 4-0 Carabao Cup third round defeat by Ralph Hasenhüttl's men at Fratton Park. Ings, who hails from Winchester, has been no stranger to featuring in derbies during his career. The 27-year-old striker had a taste of the Merseyside derby while at Liverpool, most notably netting in a 1-1 draw with Everton at Goodison Park back in 2015. He also featured for Burnley against arch-rivals Blackburn earlier in his career. Yet having now had a taste of the south-coast derby, Ings revealed it's the best he's played in. He said: 'It’s a crazy feeling. 'I’m very fortunate to have played in some big derbies but for me personally, this one tops it. 'When the draw was made I couldn’t wait for the fixture. 'When I got the nod to play I just couldn’t wait to step over the white lines and do my best for the club.' Ings also highlighted how Southampton had to dig in at points to progress past arch-rivals Pompey. Although the final scoreline may give the impression it was a one-sided affair, Pompey had early chances to edge ahead. John Marquis struck the upright while Brett Pitman and Christian Burgess were denied by goalline clearances. All of that came prior to Ings opening the scoring on 21 minutes. And the former Liverpool forward praised the ‘professional’ performance put in by Southampton. He told Southampton's club website: 'I thought they really dug in when the pressure was on us and the crowd was electric. So it was very difficult and it’s a great night for all of us players, the coaching staff and the fans. It was huge and we knew that going into it. ‘These derby games can be like that where they try and get in your faces and try to intimidate you. The way we coped with that and didn’t react to certain tackles, I thought it was a very professional performance from us. 'It was important that we gave everything in this game and we did that for everybody. 'It’s a really special occasion for all of us as a club. 'This fixture doesn’t come around every day so to come here and put on the performance that we did, I thought it was very professional and we couldn’t have done it without the fans so we have to thank them. ‘For me to get the nod to play tonight, there was hunger in my belly straight away and being from the area I knew exactly how much it means to everybody in Southampton and the fans. ‘To give back tonight the way we did under tough circumstances was very, very professional and a credit to us.’