After his well taken strike to give Southampton’s B team the lead on 52 minutes, coach Dave Horseman was full of praise for the young forward Sam Bellis during his side’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham in Premier League 2.

The goal was Bellis’ second goal in three starts for the B team, coupled with a plethora of positive performances for Paul Hardyman’s under-18s side, meaning the 2020/21 season has been a campaign of real development for the 18-year-old.

Bellis signed his first professional contract just over a year ago, having joined the club from Manchester City in 2019.

Sunday’s strike makes it five goals in eight appearances across both age groups this campaign, something Horseman has put down to his work rate.

“He’s running harder,” said the B team coach. “His physical stats last week were through the roof for him so he was well over what he’d usually do in a game on every metric we had.

“So really pleased because if you put in that work and then you score it goal too it shows we’re not taking away his goals we’re actually adding to his game

“He’s really started to buy into the way we want to do things. They’re a great group to work with. But at the same time we’ve got big areas to get better at.

"We’ve got a group within a group. So we have a group that has been here a while and a new group of youngsters who have really added an enthusiasm and life again."