Mark Hughes has urged Saints to rise to the challenge of beating Manchester United to finally end their long wait for a home win.

With their sole Premier League victory at St Mary’s over the past year coming back in April, Saints fans are desperate to have something to cheer on their own turf.

While winnable looking matches against the likes of Burnley, Brighton, Newcastle and Watford have already come and gone without delivering three points, the pressure may be slightly less for the visit of United.

Despite their occasionally patchy form this season, most people will expect Jose Mourinho’s men to record a comfortable win, and so place Saints in a role as underdog that might just play into their hands.

Hughes said: “It’s been mentioned a lot about our home form but we’ve got to get over it. For goodness sake we are at home against a top team and the challenge is there before you so don’t be fazed by it, get your shirt on, get out there and make things happen. That’s my view on it.

“We can’t be frightened of what’s ahead of us just because we are going up against a team of good talent and certainly being our home game we have got to take the initiative. We have got to be on the front foot and positive and that encourages everybody including our fans, who are desperate for us to get this anomaly, in my view, in terms of our results at home, out the way.

“We have been close and at times really disappointed we just haven’t been able to get positive results at home when we’ve been really close but we’ve got another opportunity to get the job done again.

“Don’t be worried about it, get out there and play.”

If Saints could manage to find a way to defeat United it would undoubtedly feel like a significant moment in their season.

Not only would it finally end the wait for another win at St Mary’s, but also give them impetus and belief that they can compete heading into a tricky and busy run of fixtures over the next six weeks.

“Huge,” replied Hughes when asked what victory would mean for Saints’ season. “It’s an opportunity for us and not one we should be fazed by or apprehensive about.

“People will look at the games ahead of us and say it’s a huge challenge and that’s what we have got ahead of us and maybe we need to do it the hard way.

“The supporters will be ready and up for playing Man United and we have to tap into that.

“We have to show energy and endeavour in the team and we will see where it takes us.

“It’s a great game for us under the circumstances.”