Hardyman: It's about the performance

By SFC Media time Tue 10 Dec Bristol Rovers vs Saints
Photo by Photo by James Bridle | Paul Hardyman

Paul Hardyman is focusing on his side’s performance as Saints’ youngsters prepare to head to Bristol Rovers in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night (kick-off 7pm GMT).

Entering the competition at the third round stage, Southampton Under-18s will look to make it to the last 32 for a second season in a row.

If they’re to do so, they’ll have to overcome a Rovers side who currently sit eighth in the EFL Youth Alliance South West table, losing 3-1 to Yeovil last time out.

Entering the tie as favourites, Hardyman wants his players to focus on producing a positive performance above all else.

“We’ll go out there to compete and hopefully give a good performance,” he said. “I can’t reiterate it enough that we give a good performance.

“If we do that, then I’m sure we will get the result that we want. Every game we go out to win, but we also want to play well.

“We’ve had some really good results and average performances, and had some good performances and lost, but it’s about the performance of the lads.

“Eventually, it comes hand-in-hand so when you play well you win, and that’s what we’ve got to get.”

Southampton’s youngsters will be bidding to face either Cheltenham or Arsenal in the last 32 of the competition.

Seeing off Rotherham at the same stage last season, Hardyman is hoping to at least match 2018/19’s cup run.

“It’s always nice to have a run in the FA Youth Cup,” he said. “We’ve tried to keep the preparation the same as we have all season as we don’t want to build anything up.

“Bristol Rovers have a good academy and have some good players I’m sure, so it’s not just a case of turning up and thinking we’ll win.

“We certainly won’t be taking Bristol Rovers for granted.”

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