UNDER-21s man­ag­er Adam Asghar insists they need a “cup final men­tal­i­ty” to ensure they qual­i­fy for the Pre­mier League 2 play­offs.

Southamp­ton are cur­rent­ly two points out­side the play­offs, which is made up of the top 16 teams, with five games to go this sea­son.

They face 11th-place Crys­tal Palace, who have not lost a game since the start of 2024, on Fri­day evening at Sta­ple­wood.

Saints are tar­get­ing the play­offs this sea­son and a win over Palace could see them climb into the cov­et­ed spots. 

“It’s nice to have this stage of the sea­son because the league for­mat is real­ly dif­fer­ent,” Asghar told Southamp­ton’s club media.

“We have now got to have a cup final men­tal­i­ty. We have a set­tled squad now for the first time this sea­son which has a bit of expe­ri­ence.

“It’s great for us to con­sis­tent­ly have play­ers who can com­pete at this lev­el. That’s no dis­re­spect to the play­ers we have used this sea­son.

“Against Stoke, we saw how Ussumane Djaló came out and Joseph O’Brien-Whit­marsh came in for his first home start and looked real­ly good. 

“We need to have that cup final men­tal­i­ty if we are going to push into the play­offs, which will be a test, but one we believe we can achieve.

“From there can we get into the play­offs and have an impact on the league. There is still a lot for us to chase.

“A lot of things are com­ing togeth­er tac­ti­cal­ly. Now we just need to keep push­ing the play­ers. Palace will be a dif­fer­ent test.

“We always focus on our­selves but hope­ful­ly we can put on a sim­i­lar per­for­mance and get a sim­i­lar result.”