THE EFL Cup tie at Portsmouth will show how much passion there is for football on the south coast.

I’m sure Ralph Hasenhuttl and his Saints players will be experiencing the derby for the first time when the club returns to Fratton Park for the first time in eight years.

If they did not know already, the players will learn that big derby matches are not reserved for the north-east, the midlands, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

I found this out in my time at Southampton.

In my 12 years managing the club we only played Pompey five times, four in the league and one cup tie as we were in the same division for only two seasons.

The ferocity and passion shown by both sets of supporters was amazing.

People up north think it’s the ‘soft south’ but of course we all know it isn’t.

My team and I experienced a shocking moment as we returned from a win at Brighton on the team coach on December 27th 1982.

We were passing Portsmouth when the driver suddenly said ’look out!’

Pompey supporters were waiting for us on top of a bridge, from which they dropped a large block of concrete on our bus.

I often say I need a passport to get into Portsmouth. When I’m on the end of good-natured banter from Pompey fans I often just say ‘played five, won five’!

Before the draw was made, it was good to hear Ralph say he is taking the cup competitions seriously this season.

Premier League clubs especially have often used the League Cup to rest first-teamers and give players a game who wouldn’t normally be in their matchday squad

Looking back at the second-round games, there were only a handful with more than 10,000 in attendance.

But we will surely field a full-strength side at Fratton Park which will no doubt be packed to the rafters.

The huge followings we took to Wembley for our League Cup finals against Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest in 1979 and Manchester United in 2017 show how this competition can capture the imagination.

The forthcoming third-round tie will do the same.

Good luck to Ralph and his team.

ALL football supporters will have had nothing but sympathy for Bury this week.

It was hard to watch their supporters gather at Gigg Lane in the hope someone would turn up to take on the club. Apparently £7m was needed to complete a takeover, which of course is a very small amount for Premier League clubs.

So why has nothing happened? And why did the club get into this situation?

It’s not just Premier League clubs who have been taken over by owners, as opposed to the old days when boards of directors were made up of mainly local businessmen representing the supporters. They were not in it to make any money but to help run it in a business-like way and support the managers whenever possible.

But it turns out that Steve Dale, who was allowed to take over Bury, did not have too good a history, bearing in mind he bought the club for £1, which was presumably because he had to take on some debt.

It sounds like few promises have been kept in his time there and you now have a situation where not just the players but everyone down to the office staff and the groundsmen have not been paid for about seven months.

At Premier League level players could possibly survive a bit longer but when you’re in the position Bury have been in wages would not have been high.

So what should be done now and what should have been done before? I think the EFL board have got to have a good look at this situation to ensure it never happens again.

They should interview any prospective new owners thoroughly and ensure they have everything to needed to keep their club going.

Fortunately, Bury’s near-neighbours Bolton Wanderers were more fortunate, with their new owners passing all the relevant tests. If a bona fide last-minute offer is made I don’t think anyone in football would object to Bury being reinstated.