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WINGER Jake Thomson insists it is his desire to do well for Exeter City that will inspire him against old club Southampton tonight.

The 21-year-old was released by the Saints in the summer after coming through the ranks at the South Coast club and admits a small part of him is keen to prove a point to his former employers.

But, having made just two starts since his summer switch to the Grecians, Thomson says he will be more interested in showing the home fans what he is capable of if he plays in this evening’s npower League One encounter at St James’s Park.

Thomson said: “Now is a good time for me to show the Southampton fans what they are missing and show the Exeter team and fans what they can get from me.

“I suppose it (playing well against his old club) is a little part of my motivation, but I am more motivated to repay the faith of the gaffer (Paul Tisdale) and Exeter as a club for the faith they have shown in me.

“I had a great six or seven years there, but I have moved on and now I just want to prove to everyone at Exeter what I can do.”

Thomson believes he has got a good chance of doing just that in his current form.

The former Torquay United loanee says his confidence has received a boost since he was picked to start the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final first leg at Brentford last month.

Thomson also played the majority of Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Swindon Town after coming on as a first-half substitute for Jamie Cureton.

And, although he did not see much of the ball against the Robins, Thomson thinks the game against Southampton may be more suited to his game.

“Hopefully playing against the likes of Southampton will give me the chance to run at someone and start abusing some defenders again,” Thomson said.

“I have been here for a while and have not had as many opportunities as I would like, but it’s all about playing the waiting game and when you get a chance you have got to take it.

“I feel I have not really done that yet, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will get another chance and take it.

“I do feel more confident. It does knock your confidence a bit to keep playing reserve games and not really getting a long time on the pitch, but training has been good over the last couple of weeks.

“I have got to learn to play in situations like the one at Swindon at the weekend, because they are fighting for their lives and it wasn’t a day to get the ball down and play it.

“I think that formation (4-3-3) is tailor-made for me and I think I have got to show the manager that he can’t leave me out.

“If I’m playing well and I’m destructive to the other team he will find a position for me.”