U18 Preview: Arsenal vs Saints

By SFC Media time Fri 30 Aug Arsenal v Saints
Photo by Robin Jones

Paul Hardyman's side will be looking to kick-start their Under-18s Premier League campaign this weekend as they head to face their Arsenal counterparts.

A difficult start has seen three defeats against Aston Villa, Swansea and, most recently, Chelsea, who maintained their perfect start to the league campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory at Staplewood Campus.

This weekend, a trip to face the Gunners at their training centre will prove another stern test, with the hosts averaging just over two goals per game so far this season. Their only defeat came against Chelsea, with two goals from Armando Broja proving the difference.

And Hardyman is hoping that his players can start to find some consistency in their performances as the influx of arrivals in the summer begin to settle into their new surroundings.

"We've had an inconsistent start to the season, but we've given a lot of the lads a go so that they've had a chance to stake a claim for being in the regular team," Hardyman began.

"We're looking for some consistency now. We had a better performance against Chelsea where we conceded one goal and were in the game for long periods but it was still disappointing.

"We'd done a lot of work defensively that week and it proved to the lads that it works if you do it as a team, and we're trying to get a team ethic going, a team mentality.

"It's been a tough one for us but we're getting somewhere near what we should be now and it always takes a little bit of time when the new lads come in from different clubs and you're trying to align them with the Southampton way.

"Last season we had a slow start but by the end of the season we were doing ok and I'm hoping it's going to be along those lines again."


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