Claude Puel reacts during Southampton's EFL Cup victory over Liverpool at Anfield
So was little wonder the quiet, studious Frenchman told his Southampton players to express themselves and play with no fear at Anfield.
He headed into last night's semi-final boasting an unbeaten record in his first four encounters with the Merseyside giants – a draw and a win in the Champions League with former club Lyon and a draw and a victory since taking over the Saints.
And the way his team went about their task last night they clearly believed they could make it five unbeaten and secure a place in the club's first League Cup final since 1979.
Even though they started in the competition a round later than Liverpool thanks to their Europa League commitments, Saints have certainly had to do it the hard way – they had beat three Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, to reach the last four.
There was an impressive assurance and control about the Saints as they drew Liverpool's expected fire in the first half. And they might even have been ahead at the break had Dujan Tadic and Steve Davis not been more clinical with the two best chances of the opening period.
Shane Long scoring to ensure Southampton booked their place in the EFL Cup final
Considering they were without their two main central defenders – the injured Virgil Van Dyke and the transfer-seeking Jose Fonte – their composed performance was even more commendable.
They have an impressive track record for producing home-grown talent and in Jack Stephens they look to have another gem. He came in for Van Dyke, defied his rookie status and underlined just why Saints have handed him a new contract.
Mind you, their hearts were in their mouths early in the second half when Fraser Fraser fumbled Emre Can's shot but just managed to claw the ball away before it crossed the line.
And they were hugely relieved moments later when Daniel Sturridge – normally so clinical – somehow lofted a close range shot into the Kop.
Saints have a track record for brining through talented youngsters and they look to have another gem in Jack Stephens who defied his rookie status with a towering display at the back to underline just why they have handed him a new deal.
Puel celebrates after Long ensured Southampton booked their place in the EFL Cup final
Liverpool player ratings against Southampton in EFL Cup semi-final second leg
Wed, January 25, 2017
Express Sport brings you Liverpool's player ratings from their EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Southampton
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Loris Karius – 6.6
On a night of Baltic wind chill, the neutrals were certainly rooting for Saints, if only for an omen about this summer's weather.
Discounting their Football League Trophy win in 2010, the south coast club have not won a major trophy since 1976 when Lawrie McMenemy guided them to that famous win over Manchester United in the FA Cup final, courtesy of a goal from the late Bobby Stokes.
And that was the year, of course, that Britain was hit by a scorcher of a heat wave. Temperatures reached 36 °C in Costa del-Cheltenham. Parts of England went 45 days without rain, bringing a drought.
So if you like your sunshine, trips to the beach and the odd ice cream cone then the hope was that if Saints could reach Wembley, it might prove a lucky charm for the weather.
And after this famous victory, they will be licking their lips at the prospect of a repeat of '76 because it should be United who are their Wembley opponents on February 26, providing of course Jose Mourinho's don't throw away their 2-0 first leg lead at Hull tonight.)