Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Thursday February 12 2009
Should Lloyd James line up for Saints against Bristol City on Saturday, he'll be playing out a long-term ambition.
The Bristol-born full back used to have a season ticket at Ashton Gate just 5 years ago, and he went to a nearby school whilst working his way through the academy ranks at Southampton.
Speaking to saintsfc.co.uk, James said, "As a 15-year-old I went every week when they were in League One," James recalled.
"I used to attend Ashton Parks School which was about a two minute walk away from the ground so I used to see the stadium every day and say to myself, 'I want to play there.'
"It's where I'm from and my family are there so I'm looking forward to playing at Ashton Gate," he continued. "There will be a few friends and family there on Saturday and I've had non-stop phone calls asking for tickets all week."
Speaking about the game itself, James said he was looking forward to facing one of the form teams in the division, especially after Saints' last match was postponed due to the adverse weather conditions.
"We were going into last weekend full of confidence and looking forward to getting three points but it was cancelled and it has given us all a chance to refresh our legs and minds a bit.
"It was a disappointment because you build up to it all week and when it comes to a Saturday you just want to be playing," James said. "But this week's preparation has been no different."
"We know that it's a compact place down there which makes for a good atmosphere and they are a well supported team too. Bristol is a big place and with Rovers in there as well, it is certainly big enough for a Premier League club and City have already shown that they can make the step up."
Saints scored a priceless 2-0 victory over Bristol City when these two sides met at St Mary's last season, and alot of people believe the result gave Saints a much needed confidence boost going into the run-in, with James hoping for a similar result this time round.
"I watched that game from the stands last season and I think that was the turning point in our bid to stay up, because they were flying high at the time and pushing for automatic promotion.
"It was a great 2-0 win and hopefully we can do that again this weekend. This one will be a bit extra special for me but we just need to concentrate on getting the three points.
"This time we know that we've got a good chance of staying up because it's so tight down there and we need to string a few results together to pull ourselves away from the relegation zone."
Due to the hamstring injury that James picked up in training, he missed out on the chance to feature for Wales U21's on Tuesday, but he has recovered in time to slot into a familiar back line.
"Kelvin Davis and Chris Perry are always talking throughout the game and it's great to have them alongside me because it helps to keep us all focused," James said.
"We have a few leaders in our side which is good to have. Paul Wotton is also good to have on your team because he keeps you on your toes for 90 minutes," he added.
"Hopefully we will all be fresh again after last week and that means that we should come away with a result on Saturday."
Saints' fans will be hoping that James is true to his word, as three points would be a massive boost for all concerned.
Date:Thursday February 12 2009
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