Harrison Reed returned to Saints from a season-long loan at Norwich City in style on Thursday, netting his team’s second goal in a 3-3 draw with Schalke in Kunshan.
The midfielder – operating as a right wing-back as part of 11 changes made by Mark Hughes after the first half ended one apiece – showed great composure to slot in Jordy Clasie’s through pass to kick off an entertaining second period against the German outfit.
“I’m really happy (for the goal),” he said. “It was something we spoke about at half time, getting in behind them so they couldn’t press every ball. It was a great pass from Clas and I stuck it in the back of the net.
“I had almost too much time when I got through! I was looking to square it for Gabbi or Sammy in the middle but I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to get myself a goal. I looked up and put it through the keeper’s legs.”
The goal was just one source of positivity for Reed and Saints after the final whistle at the Kunshan Sports Centre Stadium, on another heavy and humid night in eastern China.
“The welcome and the support here tonight have been great. Speaking to people around the camp and the hotel, asking for photos and autographs, it’s been nice.
“It was probably the coolest it’s been tonight, the last few days have been really hot. We’ve acclimatised ourselves; there were tough conditions to play in tonight and it’s good that there have been no injuries.
“Every goal gives you confidence, I’m hoping to take that forward into the training sessions and game next week. We’re happy with the performance here and we know that match sharpness will come with time.”