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.
“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.”