Farlington-raised James Ward Prowse tells Southampton team-mates what to expect at Portsmouth
Farlington-raised James Ward Prowse has told his Southampton team-mates about the hostile atmosphere they’ll face when they visit Pompey later this month.
The England international was a Fratton End season-ticket holder as a youngster and was on the Blues’ books up to under-nine level.
However, he eloped to Pompey’s south-coast rivals and has gone on to make 240 appearances and scored 19 goals.
The former Oaklands Catholic School pupil, who donated £15,000 to East Lodge Youth earlier this year, is preparing for his first appearance against his hometown club.
Ward-Prowse will be in the firing line from Pompey fans, while the rest of Ralph Hasenhüttl's troops will receive similar treatment.
Angus Gunn revealed the 24-year-old’s already informed the visitors what to expect at PO4 – although Ward-Prowse is relishing the battle.
The keeper told the Southern Daily Echo: ‘I don't think I need to do any research (on the derby).
‘Prowsey has already told the lads about it and you see the reaction after the draw from all the fans.
‘Obviously I heard all the fans singing against Manchester United and everyone is really looking forward to it.
‘He basically said that was his dream draw, really. That's what he said and he's really looking forward to playing there.
‘Whatever his history is, it is. He's been a Southampton guy for years now and we'll be going out onto that pitch to win it for the fans.
‘I think it's going to be a great atmosphere for everyone involved.
‘But, at the end of the day, it's a couple of games away so we've got to put it in the back of our minds for a little bit.
‘We'll be ready on the night.’
Pompey will face their bitter foes for the first time in seven years.
David Norris’ famous late volley earned Michael Appleton’s side a 2-2 draw at St Mary’s in April 2012.
The Blues have not been defeated by Southampton since 2005.