Mark Hughes felt his Southampton side were extremely unfortunate to exit the Carabao Cup at the fourth round stage on penalties against Leicester City.
Saints had the better of the chances in normal time and saw Steven Davis’s goal ruled out by VAR for a handball from Nathan Redmond, while Manolo Gabbiadini went close with a free-kick late on.
And on a night where Yan Valery made his debut and Michael Obafemi was handed a first start, Hughes was pleased with the performance.
“I thought the lads were great tonight. We changed things and we introduced Michael and Yan who acquitted themselves really. really well and we were pleased with their level of performance,” he reflected.
“We were pleased with the other guys as well who looked after them, encouraged them and helped them through a difficult match on paper.
“At the end of the day, we’ve come here once again to another away fixture at a Premier League club and had the best of it, had the best chances and should have gone through the tie in normal time.
“I was pleased with the performance, I thought it was excellent. The young lads came in and gave us good energy. We played Nathan Redmond up top with Michael, which I thought was a good combination.
“The lads at the back were no nonsense and cleared their lines when they had to and the midfield three are starting to look a good combination for us.
“There were a lot of positives. It’s not the result we want, penalties are a lottery as we know but I was pleased with what I saw tonight.”