Saints boss targets the Premier League

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Southampton manager Alan Pardew tasted Wembley success and then vowed to be challenging for a return to the Premier League within three years.

Saints, participating in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy for the first time after dropping two divisions in five years, ran out comfortable 4-1 winners against League One rivals Carlisle in the final to bag their first silverware since 1976.

"We have new owners who want success which is fine but we know the football world doesn't work like that. But I got them a Wembley visit and we want to get to the play-offs and we think we've got a chance," said Pardew, whose side are currently 12 points adrift of a top six finish.

"I don't think it will buy me some time, I have to accept the pressure - he is being driven to get this team into the Premier League. His driving at me can sometimes, you could argue, put too much pressure on me. Sometimes it's just about right.

"But it was important we won because I can look him in the eye and say, 'Look, we've done a lot of good things here'.

"We talked about two years in this division and I think I'll get this team out of it in that time. In three years I expect this team to be challenging to get into the Premier League."

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