Fleming hails U18s star performers

By SFC Media Thu 14 Dec Saints vs Wolves
Photo by James Bridle | Craig Fleming

After conceding an early goal against the run of play, head coach Craig Fleming has praised his young side's maturity, in the wake of their FA Youth Cup victory over Wolves.

Harry Hamblin had restored parity just before the interval, and Saints' inspired second half display - including a hat-trick of goals from talisman Michael Obafemi - was commended by onlooking coaching duo Fleming and Danny Butterfield.

Pegged as one of the more difficult third round ties, Southampton's youngsters brushed aside Wolves with consummate ease, and now face the winners of tomorrow's encounter between Blackpool and West Ham.

"Very pleased," Fleming began, smiling. "Nights like this you never really know with the younger boys if they will produce what they're capable of.

"But they did everything that we've asked of them, a similar standard to what they've produced in the league - and a little bit more.

"The goal was disappointing, because it was the first time Wolves had even got in our half. But the boys showed great composure, and ground out a great result.

"It was pleasing to see the response, but not surprising. They are a good bunch, a gritty group and they work hard. Which is matched by their tactical intelligence. I thought we dominated the game, I didn't feel at any time that we were in trouble."

He looked lively throughout and is always a massive threat, he's got electric pace but there were equally pleasing performances from others on that pitch tonight.

craig fleming
Praising michael obafemi and co-stars

Fleming reserved praise for Obafemi's treble, while asserting that there were a number of other pleasing performers among a glittering Saints display.

"Michael looked lively throughout and he is always a massive threat. He's got electric pace, but there were equally pleasing performances on that pitch tonight.

"We play West Ham in the league, but Blackpool will be a bit of an unknown, so we'll follow that result and then get to work on the next round opposition."

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