Hardyman on Spurs experience

By SFC Media time Sun 24 Mar Spurs v Saints
Photo by James Bridle | Southampton FC

Southampton Under-18s coach Paul Hardyman was left frustrated as his side produced two markedly different displays in either half during their 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in the Under-18 Premier League.

Saints’ youngsters were the first visitors to the hosts’ impressive new home and played in front of a crowd of 28,987 on Sunday afternoon.

And while such a unique experience will no doubt be beneficial to their development, Hardyman rued the start which saw Spurs establish control of the contest.

“We were very disappointed with the first-half. I think the boys were a little bit nervous, very nervous and that came out and in the second-half we were much better,” he said.

“I said to them at half-time we would score the next goal and we did. For the ten minutes after I thought we did really well, we created opportunities and their keeper has made three great saves to keep them in the lead.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 24:  LtoR Jack Turner, Caleb Watts of Southampton FC 1during the U18s Premier League match between Tottenham Hot Spur and Southampton FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on March 24, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by James Bridle - Southampton FC/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Jack Turner and Caleb Watts at the New Spurs Stadium (Photo: James Bridle)

“It’s a great experience for these lads playing here in such a fantastic stadium and it is lovely. Some of them might not ever play here again.

“It’s a day that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives but from a footballing point of view it is a little bit disappointing that we did concede two really poor goals we should have done better with.

“Playing in front of a crowd just gives them that little bit more of an edge that they’re going to need if they’re going to progress in their career.”

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