Oriol Romeu said Southampton’s players know how important a win over Pompey will be for their supporters.
And the St Mary’s midfielder insisted Saints fans can expect a reaction from the team in the Carabao Cup third-round tie at Fratton Park following their 3-1 Premier League defeat at the hands of Bournemouth on Friday night.
More than seven years have passed since the last south-coast derby, with the Blues sharing the spoils in a 2-2 Championship draw at Britannia Road.
Since then Pompey’s rivals have enjoyed six full season's in the top-flight, while the PO4 outfit have had to make do with several seasons in the lower reaches of the footballing pyramid.
But that loftier league standing hasn't diminished the importance of the derby on the other side of the M27.
And fresh from a Premier League home loss to the Cherries – another of their south coast rivals – Romeu stressed the Southampton players would be in no mood to made it two successive defeats against their neighbours.
The midfielder told Southampton’s website: ‘We have a massive one now ahead and we’re all very excited about that game to get back to winning feelings and sensations and to start building something good again.
‘There has to be a reaction surely now.
‘We want to prove that we’re not a team that loses and does nothing about it.
‘We know how important it is, we know how tough it will be also over there, but we players like those matches and we’re ready for it.
‘We want to get that very important win for us, for the fans and also for the club.’