Get the lowdown on the young Saints’ weekend trip to Fulham with all the information you need ahead of the Under-18 Premier League clash…
Fulham U18s vs Southampton U18s
Under-18 Premier League
Saturday 25th August, 11am BST
Southampton’s Under-18s have started the season with two defeats, despite showing some encouraging signs, particularly as an attacking force.
After going down 3-1 against Chelsea, Paul Herdyman’s side were beaten 3-2 by a late goal at West Ham last time out and will want to get off the mark on matchday three.
Hosts Fulham have a solitary point to their name, picked up on the opening day against Swansea.
The Londoners travelled to Aston Villa last weekend, where they were on the wrong side of a 2-0 scoreline.
Both sides registered one victory apiece. Fulham were 2-0 victors on home soil in a game that was goalless for 75 minutes, while Harry Hamblin scored the only goal at Staplewood in the reverse fixture.
Boss Paul Hardyman has been pleased with the application of his players, but says their defending must be better.
“We need to improve our defensive mentality – show a willingness to put our bodies on the line, block shots, block crosses and defend properly. That’s not the ugly side, that’s the winning side.
“The attacking play has been good – I’ve been quite pleased with that – but over the last few years I think defending is becoming less and less in players’ minds, with forward play becoming paramount.
“We go into every game expecting a tough game and I don’t expect this one to be any different.
“I’ve been to Fulham numerous times and they always want to play football, but our main objective is to make sure we work harder than them.
“The names that can be mentioned from the last five to ten years at this football club have gone on to do great things, so we’ve got to try to keep emulating that.”