NEW ERA

Southampton play their first match since the departure of Alan Pardew, when they take on Swindon Town in the Southern Section of the draw, at St Mary's.

The former West Ham United boss was relieved of his duties on Monday, just two days after they secured their first league win of the season, a 4-0 win away at Bristol Rovers.

The Saints are the current holders of the trophy after winning it back in March with a 4-1 win over Carlisle United at Wembley.

The Manager may have changed since then, with Dean Wilkins taking temporary charge, but central defender Jose Fonte is hoping those memories can spur them on again this season, as he told www.saintsfc.co.uk:

"Playing at Wembley is an amazing thing, so everyone in the team wants to be there again and we will do our best to get there again."

"It's very important that we get off to a good start, it's our trophy and we want to win it again. It'll be a very tough game, Swindon beat us last year, so we know it's going to be hard but we're confident because we know what we have to do. It's at home so we need the supporters with us and I hope they are like how they were on Saturday at Bristol where they were magnificent.

"I just hope we can get to the next stage and turn those Wembley memories into another reality."

Swindon are still looking for their first win of the season in any competition after suffering three defeats and two draws and Danny Wilson is hoping a result tonight could kick start their season:

"Southampton are the best team in the league for me," he told the Swindon Advertiser. "They have got high quality in there and that's what you get for your money.

"If I was playing out there it would inspire me, it wouldn't hold any fear for me. I'd be champing at the bit to go out and play.

"And that's what we have to have. We have to have that enthusiasm to go there and believe that we can get a result, because it's important to us in more ways than one, not just the financial side of it.

"In my opinion it's more about confidence than money, it can be a massive boost for us, so we've got to go there, put a good display in and hopefully get something out the game."

Another team without a Manager is Hartlepool United who take on Northampton Town, at home, in the Northern Section.

Mick Wadsworth remains in charge of the Pools and will be looking for a response following Saturday's 5-0 drubbing by Sheffield Wednesday, at Victoria Park. Speaking after the game he told Pools Player:

"I think even in the first half we had plenty of possession and some good set play opportunities but that means nothing unless there is something at the end of it.

"We just lost five really poor goals and the lads know that - we've had a good long chat about it afterwards, not lost our heads because there's no point.

"We'll keep going - I won't capitulate and neither will the players."

Northampton have won twice so far this season, both of which have come in the Carling Cup against Brighton & Hove Albion and Reading and Manager Ian Sampson is hoping to transfer that form into this competition as he told www.ntfc.co.uk: "We keep saying it but the next game is always the most important one and we want to progress in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy,"

TOUGH TEST

Bournemouth face a difficult home match as they welcome Torquay United to Dean Court. The Gulls are now the only team in the entire Football League with a 100% record, having won their opening four matches and conceding just once.

This might be a cup game but Cherries boss Eddie Howe is expecting a big challenge: "It's a competition we take seriously and we want to do well in," he told www.afcb.co.uk.

"We need to put a strong side out as Torquay have done fantastically well recently and will be tough opposition. It will give the chance for players who have been desperate to be playing, and we will mix it up a bit and this is a great game for us to have."

For the Gulls this is another match to continue their impressive form which has seen them shoot to the top of the npower League 2 table and Manager Paul Buckle doesn't want standards to slip:

''We have to go to Bournemouth with clear minds and concentrate on what we are going to do with and without the ball and keep working hard at our strengths," he told www.torquayunited.com.

"It will be a good surface to play on at Bournemouth and they are a very good side who are a division above us so we will be up against it. People won't be expecting us to go and win there because they are in League 1 so what we have to do is go there and try and be solid and impose ourselves on the game."

Brentford are another side whose only wins of the season have come in cup competitions after they beat Cheltenham Town and Hull City in the Carling Cup. In the league though their form has been very different as one draw and three defeats leaves them bottom of the League 1 table.

They face a trip to League new boys Stevenage, who have lost just once in the league as well as going out of the Carling Cup to Portsmouth.

The weekend's 3-1 home defeat to Rochdale, came on the back of the Bees 2-1 win over Hull, which left Manager Andy Scott furious: "We don't get given goals like that, or opportunities. We need to fight for our goals and we give them up. It's not good enough.

"You've got to take responsibility on the pitch as a group, dig in and pride ourselves on being hard to beat like we were before."

PACE SETTERS GO HEAD TO HEAD

Two of the early season pace setters meet at Boundary Park when Oldham Athletic of League 1 meet League 2 side Shrewsbury Town.

Both sides are unbeaten in their respective leagues so far and are sitting pretty in the higher reaches of their tables.

Saturday saw the Shrews beat Stockport 4-0 at Edgeley Park but Manager Graham Turner has been in football long enough to know not to get too excited:

"We don't get carried away with what we've done and we'll know better whether we have a chance of promotion once we've seen most of the sides in this league.

"Our performances are very acceptable and we're showing a lot of appetite for work. The players are very professional and have got the right attitude and all in all it's going very well."

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