U18 Preview: Swansea v Saints

By SFC Media time Fri 16 Aug Swansea v Saints
Photo by James Bridle

It’s matchday two for the young Saints tomorrow morning, and their first away trip of 2019/20, following last week’s opener against Aston Villa.

Tomorrow’s challengers are Swansea City, who lost out 2-1 to West Ham in their first Under-18 Premier League tie of the season.

Saints were themselves on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline last week, but can take encouragement from their second-half resurgence, despite not being able to claim a share of the points.

These two sides last met in March, where Paul Hardyman’s youngsters were 3-0 victors at Staplewood Campus - Benni Smales-Braithwaite, Pascal Kpohomouh and Christian Norton were all on target that day.

COACH'S THOUGHTS: Paul Hardyman

"Based on last week's performance, I'm looking forward to watching us play tomorrow," the Under-18s boss said.

"We lost the game, yes, but the boys showed a lot of fight and character in the second half, and we played some attractive football.

"It's still very early in the season, but we took lessons from the Villa game. I feel a lot more confident today than I did two weeks ago because I'm seeing a lot of improvement.

"It's such fine margins at this age group, because all young sides can have good days and off days. It's difficult mentally to recover from being 3-0 down, but we gave it a really good go in the second half last week. We probably deserved a draw.

"We'll be back up to full speed next week against Chelsea. Tomorrow we're still missing a few players, and we're playing catch up a bit from some pre-season illness, but they're working hard every day and taking on board information. Understanding roles and responsibilities is key.

"We made three mistakes against Villa and conceded three goals, but I'm confident that won't be the case this week."

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