Any football supporter like me coming from the north of England would think of derby matches as being Newcastle v Sunderland, Man United v Man City, Liverpool v Everton and the London clubs.

I never dreamt there was anything like that on the ‘soft, southern, sunshine coast.’ In 12 years of managing Saints, the team up the road in Blue were only in the same league as us for two of those seasons.

Altogether I faced them in four league games and one Cup tie, which was at Portsmouth.

I could not believe the ferocity both on and off the pitch in my first fixture.

It prompted me to remind everybody of that each subsequent time we played, but particularly in the Cup because none of the team had played in a league game as we had left them behind when it came to league position.

In that particular game some supporters will remember we were hanging on as the match went by and I would have been delighted with a draw to get a replay at The Dell.

I think in injury time Frank Worthington, a silky type of centre forward, who was a little deeper probably because the nearer he got to their centre halves the more lumps he had kicked out of him, slid a pass to the right hand side and Dave Armstrong was there – our main left sided player.

He crossed the ball with his right foot, which was unusual, and at the far post was Steve Moran, a right footed goal scorer who knocked it in with his left foot.

That is my outstanding memory of that game.

One of the last league games was two or three weeks before we played in the semi-final or final of the FA Cup and that was a difficult one because my players had their eye on Wembley which gave the Portsmouth players an opportunity to ensure none of them would be fit enough.

I think it will possibly be more difficult for Ralph, and not because he doesn’t come from this country - I am sure his staff will have put him in the picture and possibly he has been to see Portsmouth.

The players, who are, let’s be fair, largely from abroad, will be thinking more of the difference in divisions than anything else with a gap of two leagues between the clubs.

His team talk really will have to be to forget about the Premier League, the Liverpools and Manchester Uniteds etc.

He will need to talk about Wembley because I think even nowadays the players from abroad will be thinking along the same lines as our own Ivan Golac, who way back in 1979 couldn’t believe he walked out at the home of football in the League Cup final as it was always his dream.

That could be the same now. Even though our players have been all around the world, Wembley is the one place they have all heard of.

It has to be instilled into them that this is more important to our supporters than any other game.

Apparently, there is a limit of 2,000 tickets for our fans and I am sure we could have taken many more if allowed.

They will make plenty of noise and it means so much to them that the players have got to understand they need to give 110 per cent and then their ability, which makes them Premier League players, can shine through.

I am sure that Kenny Jackett will have already started winding up his players. Let’s be fair, they have got nothing to lose on paper being in League One.

Kenny of all people will remember his times as a player at Watford, managed by the late Graham Taylor, when they were the underdogs and got to Wembley.

Let’s forget about Premier League positions, Europe etc, and concentrate totally on what we would call the League Cup.

A lot of our supporters who couldn’t get tickets for 1976 were able to go to Wembley in 1979 and I am sure the 2,000 there, and many more watching at home, will want to get there again.

But no matter what happens in later rounds this is the one that means so much to people down here.

As I used to remind the players, the day after the game some of our supporters may have to go to work with people who support Portsmouth. I am certain the result will be rubbed in on one or the other.

Let’s hope it’s the Portsmouth supporters that are ringing up to say they can’t make work on Wednesday.