Mark Hughes is looking for Southampton’s fringe players to give him a selection dilemma by pushing their claims in the Carabao Cup. Hughes takes his Southampton side to Everton for a delayed third round tie on Tuesday, having seen them win just twice in all competitions this season.
“It’s still a competition we want to do well in,” said the St Mary’s boss.
“We have been unlucky with the draw, two away ties against two Premier League sides, but we have got strength in depth and I’m hoping some of those guys will make a claim.”
Angus Gunn, Maya Yoshida and Steven Davis – who are yet to start in the league this season – are among those likely to feature at Goodison Park and Hughes insists Premier League places are up for grabs.
“They will feel, and I will feel, if there’s a chance the team can be improved because someone has shown some good endeavour to get into the team clearly I’ll consider it,” he added.
“We made changes last time against Brighton and we put in a really good performance.
“A number of those players made a claim and pushed themselves more into my thinking. I fully expect a number of them on Tuesday to do the same. That’s up to them, they need to show me they are able to help us.
“They are all good players and a lot of them have been disappointed. It’s been a little bit unfair for them, they haven’t done anything wrong. We just have a fully fit squad and I can’t pick everyone.
“Someone has to miss out but the majority of those players will play on Tuesday and we’ll see how we go.”