Radhi Jaïdi's Under-23s came unstuck against a particularly experienced Derby side on Monday evening, registering their first loss of this year's Premier League 2 campaign.
Saints had their chances, hitting the post early on through Dan N'Lundulu, but a solitary Derby strike, early in the second half, proved the difference.
Jaïdi was left to rue his side's profligacy in front of goal but was encouraged by his team's performance against a Derby side featuring several first-team players.
"I thought we had a really good performance in the second half and I can't really blame any one of them, they worked really hard," he commented.
"We were unlucky in the final third not to score a goal. We created a lot of chances, chance after chance. It's one of those days.
"The goal is a learning curve for us. It's decision making, it's more awareness. Other than that, a really good performance, except the result.
"They introduced three of their senior boys. They had experience and they managed to challenge our boys; I thought we did really well in respect of that.
"The performance was much, much better than last week from the start and that’s already a positive reaction from the boys."