RALPH Hasenhuttl is trusting his players to not be distracted with Saints’ looming cup date with Pompey.

The two teams, who haven’t played against each other for seven years, will do battle in the club’s most hotly-anticipated game for a number of years.

However, because the Fratton Park encounter won’t be until late September, Hasenhuttl wants his team to remain focused on the task at hand, starting with Manchester United tomorrow.

Hasenhuttl said: “I don’t know if our players are following this noise from the fans so much.

“I think for us; the next game is against Manchester United is a big one and an important one.

“After this is the international break so they are all going away so I won’t be able to control what they will be doing or thinking then.

“Professional players think differently. They are really focused on what is happening today and what they have to do for the next game.

“The Portsmouth game is not that interesting for them.”

Due to Pompey residing in League One, Hasenhuttl is yet to experience his first taste of the south coast derby.

Although, the Austrian explained that his final game in charge with RB Leipzig was against their rivals and also happened to be in a cup competition.

Leipzig ended up losing that game on penalties after blowing a two-goal lead.

“It’s not so long ago that I had a very interesting one in Germany which was Leipzig against Dresden that was also in the cup,” continued Saints’ manager.

“It was a very, very good atmosphere. I think it’s normal that some games are very special for the fans and they are really looking forward to this game.

“That’s normal. But for us as managers, it’s not, at the moment, in our focus.

“I know it’s very important for everybody. I heard this the first day that I came here.”

There is no doubt going to be a case of Saints fans only caring about the Carabao Cup date at Fratton Park with Pompey.

It’s the game they’ve been patiently waiting for and will be hoping the St Mary’s side can right a few wrongs and leave with a positive result.

You have to go back to 2005 to find the last time Saints came out on top, which is something Hasenhuttl is keen to change.

He added: “I know that we didn’t win very often there. I think it was a few draws and a few losses but not many wins.

“It’s a good time to turn the tables.”