Hardyman: It will be a good test

By SFC Media Fri 03 Jan Saints v Aston Villa
Photo by Tom Mulholland | Paul Hardyman & Callum Watts

Paul Hardyman is looking for his side to build on recent cup successes as Southampton’s youngsters return to Premier League U18 action this weekend, visiting Aston Villa on Saturday (kick-off 12.30PM GMT).

It was a successful last outing for Saints, which saw them come out as 3-1 winners over Bristol Rovers in the FA Youth Cup.

Goals from Alex Jankewitz and a double from Sam Bellis helped them get the better of their Youth Alliance opponents, setting up a tie with Arsenal in the fourth round on January 9th.

But with the Christmas break coming soon after that last fixture was over three weeks ago, giving Hardyman a chance to reflect on the result.

"It highlighted our quality," reviewed Hardyman. "It showed that the boys take on the instructions we give and applied it. 

"I was really pleased with us in and out of possession, and now it's about taking that quality into the rest of the league games.

"The boys have had a couple of weeks off at Christmas, so they've come back refreshed and ready to go again. They've enjoyed training and looked good.

"[Aston] Villa have been our bogey team of recent. It's been frustrating as we've gone there with good performances and not got a result, so it will be good to put that right."

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