Southampton’s B team return to action for the first time in 2023 as they host Derby County in Premier League 2 Division 2 on Friday evening.
Saints vs Derby County
Premier League 2 Division 2
Friday 6th January, 19:00 GMT
Saints host Derby County to kick off 2023 as they return to league action for the first time since November.
After successfully topping their Premier League Cup group with one game to spare before the winter break, Dave Horseman's side return their attention to the PL2 campaign sitting second in the table.
The young Saints are unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions, with a two-game winning streak in the league itself.
Derby sit bottom of the division without a single point so far this season, having suffered nine defeats from nine games.
Pat Lyons' side have enjoyed better fortunes of late in the PL Cup, however, topping their group with 11 points ahead of Brighton, Bournemouth and QPR.
They return to the new year with an unbeaten run of five games across all competitions.
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Saints last met Derby County in PL2 action during the 2020/21 season, where a single goal from Kazeem Olaigbe provided the difference in a vital 1-0 win at Snows Stadium.
"I’m really proud of all of them [in the first half of the season], we’ve used a lot of players but the culture has always been the same." reflected Horseman ahead of his side's return to action.
"I think we’ve played really well at times and had a more challenging games programme but the boys have never taken a backwards step.
"We’ve had a superb first half of the year, the best since I’ve been here with topping the PL Cup group and being second in the league.
"What we’ve got to do now is kick on and make sure we get even better in the second half of the season, and that means getting players closer to playing men’s football, that’ll be the challenge."