Saints Under-18s boss Anthony Limbrick says his players will be tested physically over the next week as they take on West Brom on Friday before an FA Youth Cup tie with West Ham.
They head into the game against their West Brom counterparts on Friday off the back of a 2-2 draw with Barclays Under-18 Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Limbrick was pleased with the effort his players showed in that draw, and says they will be tested again against both the Baggies and the Hammers.
Speaking to Southampton’s official YouTube channel, Limbrick said: “Chelsea are a good side, they are the benchmark in our league, they’re top of the table. It was a really hard game but I was really pleased with the effort of the lads.
“This week we have been preparing ourselves for the game on Friday against West Brom, with another game on Tuesday, physically we’ve got to make sure we look after the players.
“We’ll be prepared and ready to go. Physically it can be tough but we’ll try and play as many players as we can in both. A lot of the players in the under-21s have also played in the under-18s, with lots of training together.
“In terms of getting the boys together and getting work into them, we do that anyway. It doesn’t matter what team we play on Friday, we’ll be ready for both Friday and Tuesday.
“The boys will be keen to put in a good performance on Friday to try and secure a place for Tuesday. I know it’s a cliché but it won’t come into our thoughts on Friday.”
The game on Friday provides Saints with the opportunity to move about the Baggies in the table, and Limbrick is aware of the motivation that will provide his players with.
Having lost the reverse fixture 2-1 earlier in the season, Limbrick is keen to eradicate any errors in the performance, adding: “It was an awkward game, they had a man sent off and made it really difficult. They dropped really deep and we struggled to break them down.
“We created some good chances in the last 20 minutes but made two errors we weren’t quite happy with at the back. If we cut them out Friday and get a good performance we’ll see how we go.
“I think the players look to it more than we do [the table]. We want to try and get into the middle group of four. We’ve only lost one in seven games which is good to see but it’s more about the performances.”