Jason McCarthy is desperate to make his competitive return from injury against Charlton Athletic in The FA Youth Cup after missing out against Portsmouth in the Third Round.
The defender suffered a heartbreaking setback when he injured his shoulder in the run-up to the mouthwatering tie at home to Pompey at St Mary’s – a match Saints emerged as 7-0 victors in.
After missing out on the memorable occasion against Southampton’s local rivals, McCarthy is now eager to make a return in the Fourth Round against the Addicks and sample the atmosphere that the night at St Mary’s will provide.
“It feels really good to be back,” he told Saints Player. “It was annoying getting injured just before the Youth Cup game; a big game like Pompey – I was really looking forward to getting involved in that. It’s great to be back now and I’m looking forward to Wednesday night.
“I’d be really keen [to get involved]. As I said, I’m really looking forward to it. I was itching last time before the Pompey game and I saw the boys, the crowd and the atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to it.”
McCarthy, who can play either at right-back or at the heart of the defence, revealed that he’s being encouraged to play out from the back as the youngsters look to replicate how the First Team employ their tactics.
The 18-year-old is looking forward to putting such a style into practice one again as he looks to battle with fellow full-back Matt Young for the right-back spot in the Development Squad.
“Obviously I’m going to be a bit rusty to start off with,” Jason admitted. “We went for a bit of match prep with Jason Dodd and Paul Williams and we’re really working on playing out from the back at the moment. There’s a lot of risk involved in that but we’re just trying to emulate what the First Team are doing – it’s good.
“Martin [Hunter] has just said for me to get my way back into the team (Development Squad) now. Matt [Young] has come in and done really well so I’ve got a bit of competition for places, which is really good. I’m looking forward to the Youth Cup on Wednesday night and we’ll go from there. I deal quite well with pressure. I’m really looking forward to it.”