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Scotland striker Che Adams doing all he can to make speedy injury return



With a trip to Wembley tantalisingly close, Saints boss Russell Martin is hopeful Adams will be available to return for Friday evening’s clash at St Mary’s.

“He’s in a good place, he’s in a much better place than he was, and he’s giving everything he can to be fit for the game,” Martin confirmed.

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Southampton finished 12 points above West Brom in the league table and did the double over their opponents.

Yet there was nothing to separate the sides during a cagey first leg, leaving the tie finely poised.

“There will be some nerves, some excitement, some tension in the legs for both teams, both coaching staffs, both sets of fans, because it’s a huge game,” said Martin, who captained Norwich to Championship play-off glory in 2015.

“But what a game to look forward to, what a game to be involved in at our place, so the overriding feeling is I just want the game to come.

“I feel like the preparations have gone really, really well and the team’s in a good place.

“But the team that embraces the feeling they have and deals with that the best will win, I really believe that.”

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Southampton are bidding to return to the English Premier League at the first attempt following relegation last term.

With the prospect of extra-time and penalties potentially proving decisive, former MK Dons and Swansea boss Martin, who was appointed last summer, has planned for all possible scenarios.

“We have practised and prepared for every situation we can think of, but you can’t ever really replicate an occasion like that and the emotion and feeling that comes with that,” he said.

“You prepare as best as you possibly can and then you give it all up and you trust the work and the detail and hope it comes off.”

Southampton greats Matt Le Tissier, James Beattie and Francis Benali are set to be among the capacity crowd.

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Martin hopes his players can feed off the passion of the Saints fans.

“They are the most important people in the club,” he said of the supporters.

“They will be here long beyond any of the players or myself. I’ve got no doubt tomorrow that they will bring a lot of energy and the team has to bring a lot of energy to make sure they give them something to cheer about and get behind.

“We need to make them proud of the team on the pitch.”

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