U18 Preview: Saints vs Fulham

By SFC Media time Fri 25 Jan Saints v Fulham
Photo by James Bridle

Get the lowdown on the young Saints' weekend opponents Fulham, as Under-18s Premier League action resumes...

THE MATCH

Southampton U18 vs Fulham U18
Under-18 Premier League
Saturday 26th January, 11am BST
Staplewood Campus

A mere two points separate Paul Hardyman's youngsters with Saturday’s Under-18 Premier League challengers Fulham, who lie eighth in the table.

Sixth placed Saints are on a positive run of league results, but suffered a setback in the FA Youth Cup last week, exiting the competition when losing out 2-1 to Watford.

Fulham played out a lively 3-3 draw with Aston Villa last time out, and were also dumped out of the Youth Cup in December (defeated by Leicester City), but will be keen to make a return to winning ways, having started the campaign brightly - the highlight being a 7-0 mauling of Reading.

The reverse fixture, played at Motspur Park, yielded a 2-2 draw, where Saints were twice behind and fought back to claim a point - Christian Norton and Will Ferry were both on the scoresheet.

Fulham 2-2 Southampton (August 2018)

COACH'S THOUGHTS: Paul Hardyman

Under-18s boss Paul Hardyman is pushing for a reaction from his young side tomorrow, as they host Fulham, a week on from FA Youth Cup disappointment.

“We’ll find out tomorrow morning at 11am how well these boys can bounce back from a really frustrating night in the FA Youth Cup last week," he said.

“They didn’t do themselves justice, and they know that. They didn’t leave everything on the pitch, and during one-off knockout games, that can't be the case.

“I can accept any result if I know the lads have given maximum effort. It’s a learning curve for them as always, and they’ve got to understand how to deal with disappointment.

“Tomorrow I expect them to fight for the right to play against Fulham. We want to win as many games as we can, that goes without saying, but always our main focus is pushing these lads towards the Under-23s.

“That’s the measure of success for us, improvement and development. I’ve been very happy with what I’ve seen on that front this season, and long may it continue.”

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