Radhi Jaïdi was encouraged by his side’s performance despite Southampton Under-23s’ St Mary’s homecoming ending in defeat to Premier League 2 leaders Chelsea.
The young Saints celebrated promotion to the top flight last time they played at the stadium, and competed well for long periods against the Blues this time around.
But second-half goals from England international Callum Hudson-Odoi and defender Clinton Mola, whose header was adjudged to have crossed the line, decided the outcome in favour of the visitors.
“Despite the result, I thought we responded positively to the challenge,” Jaïdi said.
“We had a really good first half – we looked the better team. We stopped Chelsea from playing, intercepted a lot of balls and created chances.
“That’s what we told the boys at half time: carry on what we were doing defensively and try to be more creative in the final third.
“We were unlucky with the second goal – I’m not sure about the decision – but the first goal was from a turnover and we weren’t ready for it.
“We kept going, but sometimes it’s difficult to accept for the younger boys.
“I thought it was a good experience, and some individuals stepped up and did really well.”