HAMPSHIRE Police will not deploy the controversial 'bubble' scheme when Saints face Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup.

The policing method was controversially used when the two clubs last met at Fratton Park in 2012.

It saw Saints fans taken to Portsmouth in designated coaches, dropped into a 'sterile area' and then escorted to Fratton Park prior to kick-off - and on the way home.

But a spokesperson for the force said the 'bubble' will not be used when the fierce rivals meet at Fratton Park in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, September 24.

The force said it would instead use a "wide range of tactics to best tackle disruption and disorder".

In a statement, released this afternoon, a spokesperson for Hampshire Police said: "We know what this match means to both sets of fans and we are working closely with both clubs to help make sure that the fans are able to enjoy this much-anticipated cup tie.

"We have to make sure our policing response is proportionate, able to deal swiftly with anyone looking to cause trouble and, at the same time, not disrupt the lives of those who are not going to watch the match.

"We have significant experience of policing matches involving these two teams over the years and we will be drawing on these experiences and the different approaches we used to ensure it is a safe match for all those attending, as well as those living and working around Fratton Park.

"Having met with both clubs and shared our initial plans with them, we are now in a position to confirm that our policing operation will not mirror what was done in 2012 when the clubs last met.

"Our priority, as always, is public safety and we are confident that we have a wide range of different tactics available to us to best tackle any disruption by those who are intent on causing disorder.

"We also feel that these tactics need to suit the timing of a match that will be taking place on a Tuesday evening.

"As with any policing operation of this nature, there will be some elements that people will not be able to see but as our plans progress, we will be able to share more details of our more visible tactics."