Saints Under-18s boss Anthony Limbrick has backed his players to respond in the best way possible following defeat to Spurs, with victory at home to Chelsea.
After five games without a loss, Limbrick’s side fell to a late defeat against Spurs on Saturday, despite having gone ahead just after the hour mark through Chris Regis.
Having tasted success in their previous outing thanks to a late goal of their own, Limbrick says the players have shown a good response in training this week ahead of the game against Chelsea on Friday at midday.
Speaking to youtube.com/southamptonfc, Limbrick said: “We had a couple of games earlier in the season where we suffered late goals. Against Chelsea we were 3-2 and were doing well but ended up conceding a late goal. The same happened against West Ham.
“We did that to Aston Villa and Reading so it has happened to us both ways. We said after the game they need to manage the game a bit more, be professional and see the game out.
“We went through the clips on areas we need to improve on Monday, we had a good chance to reflect and once we’d finished that we moved onto the preparation for Chelsea.
“I think there’s always going to be periods in matches when you don’t have a lot of possession and what we need to do during those times is one, when we get the ball keep it a bit better and two, when we defend just be a bit more solid.
“Hopefully we can take that on board this Friday. The last time we played Chelsea we scored three and hit the crossbar and the post. I think there’ll be chances; it will be a case of who can defend the best.”
Having lost 4-3 in the game at Chelsea on the opening day of the season, Limbrick says everyone is looking forward to the testing themselves again against the team who sit top of the Barclays Under-18 Premier League.
Marcus Barnes, who has got ten goals for the under-18s this season, missed Saturday’s game at Spurs, and Limbrick added that the rest of the squad must chip in with the goals when he is unavailable.
“I think the players and the staff look forward to playing the best teams, that’s what it is about,” he added. “That’s where you can see how far you’ve come from last time and really set down a marker of how much we’ve improved.
“We definitely have improved so we need to be going and showing that on the pitch on Friday. It will be a tough game. They do have really good individuals but they are quite open and quite attacking.
“There’s no doubt about it, they are the standard with the players that they’ve got. I think they will be looking to play quite a strong team with their FA Youth Cup game on Tuesday.
“In terms of goals, it’s not just the number nine but goals from midfield as well. I know Joe Lea has got a couple which is pleasing, but also the wide players like Dan Demkiv, Josh Sims and Harley Willard. They’ve got a fair few assists but can add more goals to their game as well.”