Southampton Under-23s coach Radhi Jaïdi had cause for encouragement from his team’s performance, despite a narrow loss at Walsall in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday evening.
The League Two side’s Dan Scarr netted the only goal of the game on the stroke of half time, but Saints weren’t overawed against senior opposition.
Despite not finding an equaliser, Jaïdi was encouraged by his young side’s performance and believes the experience will prove invaluable.
“It was a really good performance, especially the first 25 minutes where we imposed ourselves and played our football,” the Under-23s coach commented. “But we stopped doing that, let them get their confidence and then they’re playing their game, which is more direct, using wide areas and crosses.
“Despite the goal we conceded, it was a good experience. There is a bit of frustration from the boys that there were opportunities to do what we needed to do in certain areas, but that will come.
“Playing against seniors, playing against some experienced league players who’ve played hundreds of games, that’s one thing you can’t truly buy for these boys.
“We could have scored that goal that would have given us that confidence back and then probably win it, why not? That’s the thing that we probably need to improve on and we need to review ourselves on, go back home and work on it.
“From the last three weeks, we’ve started to build up that confidence, but also the performances against the teams we’re playing against. Of course, we need to work and improve ourselves.”