Though the 2016/17 season ended with Claude Puel being sacked as Southampton manager, by no means was that campaign a complete disaster for the Saints.
Under Puel, they went on to secure an eighth place finish in the Premier League while managing to reach the EFL Cup final along the way.
Had the south coast club gone a step further than reaching Wembley, Puel may have faced a different fate.
And Southampton came close to doing just that as they clawed themselves back from 2-0 down against Manchester United.
After Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jesse Lingard had given their team a comfortable lead, a brace from Manolo Gabbiadini levelled things up with the Italian also having a perfectly fine goal ruled out for “offside” on the day.
But as the gigantic sides are able to so often do, Manchester United found the winner when Ibrahimovic headed past Fraser Forster at the death in a period where Southampton looked like the outfit who would go 3-2 up.
Two years on from that disappointing cup final defeat and it has mostly been downhill for Southampton, epitomised by some dreadful performances under Mauricio Pellegrino and Mark Hughes.
That being said, with Ralph Hasenhuttl now at the helm, there is reason for Saints supporters to be optimistic.
In a short space of time, the Austrian has guided Southampton to some big wins against Tottenham and Arsenal, while their displays against the Premier League elite overall have been impressive.
If they can maintain that level of play and add a couple of quality additions in the summer, under Hasenhuttl, Southampton could have it in them to go all the way in the League Cup next time round.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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