TOTTENHAM Hotspur manager Antonio Conte insisted he “remembers very well” the meetings he has had with Saints, ahead of their visit to St Mary’s.

The Italian boss will bring his Spurs side to the south coast on Saturday, March 18, with their hunt for the top four reaching a climax – and Saints still looking to get off the bottom of the Premier League.

Conte, speaking ahead of the meeting, was asked for his thoughts on Ruben Selles’s charges, who were beaten 2-0 by Brentford last time out this week but remain “alive”.

The former Chelsea and Juventus man called back to their 4-1 win over Saints on the opening day of the season, but also how Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side picked up two positive results last campaign.

"Yeah I watched the (Brentford) game, also the games against United and Chelsea," Conte said. "Southampton, I think the game (against Brentford) was really balanced and set-pieces made the difference.

"You know very well Brentford is really, really good at set-pieces. You have to pay attention to a corner, throw-in, all set-pieces. In every situation they're really dangerous at this aspect but I've seen a team with great energy.

"A team that wants to play football, wants to try to get points and you know very well in the last part of the table there are many, many teams (separated by) a few points. For sure, they want to try to get points against us but we have to think to ourselves, we need to play an important game, to give continuity to the win against Nottingham Forest.”

"For this reason we have to pay great attention, be focused, to go with great energy, to prepare very well not only in the tactical aspect but about the mentality. To be focused, to be strong and to be ready to fight in this type of game."

Last season, a 10-man Saints held Spurs to a 1-1 draw at St Mary's before one of the most famous wins under Ralph Hasenhuttl at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. They took an end-to-end affair 3-2 with a late winner. 

"I remember the first match this season well," Conte added. "We were 1-0 down. I remember very well because also last season we struggled a lot against Saints.

“We lost at home and we drew 1-1 away. It's always a difficult game for us but the first game (of the season) we played a good game. We were 1-0 down, we came back and scored four goals.

"Now they've changed two managers since and they're trying to do everything to avoid relegation zone but I repeat I watched the game yesterday and against United and Chelsea. I've seen a team alive, not a team that wants to go and have a relegation."