O'Driscoll: We belong in the top division

By SFC Media time Mon 16 Oct Saints v Newcastle
Photo by James Bridle | Ollie Cook & Aaron O'Driscoll

With the aim of a swift return to the top tier of academy football in focus, Southampton's Under-23s are back in Premier League 2 action on Monday, where St Mary's will play host to Newcastle United.

Centre-half Aaron O'Driscoll – a standout performer in Saints' Checkatrade Trophy win over Cambridge a fortnight ago – believes the squad have been uplifted by that result, and will use the performance as a marker for the remainder of the season.

"It was a different type of game to what we're used to," the Republic of Ireland youth international began.

"But it was a good experience for us all. If some of the lads go out on loan, it gives you a measure of where you need to be to compete.

"It was a good win and a big boost of confidence. We limited their chances. Me and [Ollie] Cookie have played together a few times now. A clean sheet, no clear cut chances, and as defenders that is what you want."

A solid partnership at the heart of the Saints rearguard, O'Driscoll and Cook played key roles in maintaining that all-important clean sheet against Cambridge, and will be hoping to take that experience in to Monday night's league action, as the team looks to make a swift return to the top division of Premier League 2.

The 18-year-old added: "The aim is promotion – we belong in the top division. So hopefully we'll push on and achieve that. There's plenty of time left.

"Newcastle are a good side, it is at St Mary's as well, so that is added incentive. It'll make it a good test, they'll be up for it. Hopefully if we play our game we'll get the right result."

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