Fleming previews latest league test

By SFC Media Sat 10 Feb Saints v Norwich
Photo by James Bridle | Craig Fleming

It's been a rarity for Southampton's youngest cohort to taste defeat this season, but having lost out against Norwich in the Under-18s Premier League Cup in November, Craig Fleming is hoping for an improved performance, and result, this time around.

Saints are on a seven match unbeaten streak in the league, but will face a tough test today, with a host of injury concerns, as well as a number of youngsters - namely top scorer Michael Obafemi and Will Smallbone - making the deserved step up to the club's Under-23s.

Despite being thin on the ground, Fleming has expressed his delight after seeing some of his regular young stars progress on to the next stage of their footballing journey, as well as allowing some first-year scholars a chance to show what they're capable of.

"They've been really consistent right from the word go really," Fleming asserted. "We had a couple of poor results at the start but since then we've performed excellently and had results to match.

"We're short on numbers today, probably a flat 16 fit and available. We might have to rejig things to accommodate the players we have got fit.

"That's the job, our objectives are to see the young boys make the step up, and earn contracts. We wish them well, of course. And the first years who we'll have next year are gaining good exposure to this league.

"Some of the boys have been knocking on the door of the 23s for a while, and are finally getting their chance.

"We didn't play well against Norwich last time; I played at the club for 11 years so I'm well aware that they will be organised and well drilled. Tough to play against always, but we'll be looking for a much improved performance."

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