I've been told about the rivalry with Southampton - now I want to sample tasty Fratton occasion, says Portsmouth new boy

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James Bolton can’t wait to savour the ‘massive’ rivalry Pompey and Southampton.

And the defender is expecting a lively showdown with the Blues’ fierce rivals when they lock horns in the Carabao Cup on September 24.

Pompey's James Bolton. Photo by Joe Pepler.

Pompey's James Bolton. Photo by Joe Pepler.

Bolton admitted he’s already heard plenty about what to expect from a south coast derby from fans of his new club.

The 25-year-old finally made his full debut against Crawley in the Carabao Cup last Tuesday after an injury-interrupted start to his time at the club.

But the right-back is targeting being at full throttle by the time Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side come to town.

And Bolton is expecting an electric atmosphere in the first Fratton Park game under the lights since 1976.

He said: ‘It’s massive. I’ve heard from just walking around the town there’s a massive rivalry there. A massive, massive rivalry.

‘It’s going to be a tasty one and that’s what you want.

‘The stadium is going to be rocking and there’s a bit of bite to it. I can’t wait.’

Pompey will naturally go into the Southampton game as outsiders against their Premier League opponents with the bookies rating the visitors as odds-on favourites.

Bolton can understand his team going into the first meeting between the two sides in seven years firmly as underdogs, but he doesn’t feel that means it’s not an occasion to relish.

He added: ‘You want to play in those games. This is what we’re in football for.

‘They’re a Premier League club and it’s going to be good to test ourselves against them.

‘But on our day I feel we’re capable of beating anyone.’