Andy Crosby was full of praise for Saints after their 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.
The hosts struck in either half to advance into round four of the Capital One Cup, and Crosby felt the players executed the gameplan to perfection.
“I think the way we set about the game made it a comfortable night,” Nigel Adkins’ assistant told Saints Player.
“I thought we were excellent in the first half and moved the ball about well. We applied plenty of pressure to them high up the pitch which led to lots of regaining of possession and we controlled long periods of the game.
“At half time the main thing we were saying was, ‘can we improve our quality in the final third?’ We had three or four one-on-ones and good crossing opportunities that went out, but overall it was a great night’s work.”
Jay Rodriguez bagged both of the goals as the summer arrival claimed his first competitive strikes in Saints colours, with a smartly taken first on half an hour which was followed up by a penalty in the second 45.
“He had a massive impact,” Crosby highlighted. “I thought his movement was excellent tonight against two centre halves who perhaps wanted him to come short, but I thought his movement in behind and down the sides was excellent. He is one of many players who took their opportunities tonight.
“He has had to bide his time and wait for his chance, but he has been a great character around the place and he wants to improve because he is of a good age now. It was a great first touch for his goal and he finished it well
“We know that he is most comfortable up front, but he has good competition in that position at the moment.
“Whenever you get an opportunity you have to take it and he has done that tonight and shown that whenever he is needed he is more than ready.”
Saints ended the cup tie with four Academy products on the field, which Crosby was equally pleased about.
“I think the progress of James Ward-Prowse who made his debut in this competition last season proves that it is useful process.
“If you look at our bench tonight it was full of young players who are desperate for an opportunity and when you get it – as Ben Reeves did when he came on – you have to take it.
“The Club’s vision is to get young players through and the further we progress the more game time they will get.”
The match also provided an opportunity for a smattering of first players to get some match time under their belts, which was an added bonus going into the weekend’s trip to Everton in the Barclays Premier Legaue.
“It was a more senior looking side than perhaps we put out in the first round because we have had some players come in at the end of the transfer window which has added to the competition.
“Whenever you play, whether that is a Premier League game or a Capital One Cup game you need to take that opportunity and we are producing performances and results at the moment.
“We have another game on Saturday against a really good Everton team but the lads have done really well tonight.
“They will have the chance to recover in the morning and then we start again looking ahead to Saturday.”