Southampton’s youngsters return home in U18 Premier League action this weekend, with the visit of Reading to Staplewood Campus.
Saints vs Reading
Saturday March 7th
Carl Martin’s side will be looking to bounce back from defeat on the road last time out at Tottenham, suffering a 6-1 loss to the North London outfit.
Saturday’s fixture sees them come up against a Reading side who are similarly looming towards the wrong end of the table.
The Royals’ last outing in Premier League came at the start of February, where they were on the end of a 4-1 defeat to Fulham.
Saints and Reading met last in November in Premier League, with Saints coming away as 2-1 winners on their visit to Reading training ground.
The Royals took the lead inside the first ten minutes; Oliver Pendlebury looping an effort over Oliver Wright.
But Saints responded following the break; Jayden Smith scoring three minutes after the interval before a last-minute Marco Rus goal secured maximum points.
Under-18s coach Louis Carey said: “For large periods of the game against Tottenham, what we worked on in and out of possession worked. Our issues were when the ball turned off and our reactions, recovery runs, being more as a team once possession turned over.
“Obviously results like that are disappointing but with Under-18s, and in my opinion even at first team level, it’s all about performances. It’s just the finer details we need to tighten up on to get the better outcomes
“Reading have always been very organised, very physical. From my experience they’ve always been very competitive. They’ve got very talented players within their set-up.
“I expect a challenging game as always at this level. The week’s training for us has been good, we had an in-house game in midweek and the Under-23s have had a game too so everyone has had 90 minutes.
“We’re getting a few boys back from injury, trying to help the boys progress and develop and hopefully progress into the first team.”