Southampton's B team turn their attentions back to Premier League 2 action on Saturday, with the visit of West Ham United to Staplewood on Saturday.
Saints vs West Ham
Premier League 2
Saturday 26th September, 4:30pm BST
It’s a return to Premier League 2 action for Dave Horseman’s side this weekend, following a late EFL trophy defeat at Stevenage in mid-week.
Despite taking the lead through Callum Slattery’s free-kick - and proving more than a match for their senior League Two opposition for the majority of the evening - a 91st minute Tyrone Marsh goal ultimately meant defeat on Tuesday night.
Saturday’s opposition, West Ham, fared better in their opening EFL trophy game; beating Southend United 3-1 away from home back at the start of September.
Last time out for the Hammers came in PL2 on Friday, suffering a 3-0 defeat away at Tottenham Hotspur as the search continues for their first win of the league season.
The last match-up between these two sides came back at the start of December 2018, a
3-0 Saints win in the Premier League International Cup at Staplewood Campus.
Radhi Jaïdi’s side went ahead with two well taken first-half goals courtesy of Tyreke Johnson and Marcus Barnes.
The third was a bizarre own goal from West Ham keeper Nathan Trott, who failed to deal with a right-sided cross from Will Ferry and bundled the ball in at his near post.
The result ensured Saints qualified for the knockout stages of the 2018/19 International Cup.
Following his side’s harsh EFL trophy defeat on Tuesday, Horseman was full of plenty of praise for his young side.
“I’m devastated for the boys if I’m being honest,” he said following the game. “We’ve got 17, 18-year-olds and they all stood up to the challenge.
“The physical battle I thought we overcome it and I thought we were more likely to score at the end. But we miss a couple of chances and then give two poor goals away.
“It’s probably what this competition is good for when it comes to us, it’s a huge learning curve. I’m really proud of them because we stood up to the challenge and still played to our principles.”
Looking ahead to the weekend, Horseman is relieved at the quick turnaround of matches coming up. Giving his side a chance to right the wrongs as soon as possible and familiarise themselves with a first team routine.
“We’re starting to play a lot of games in a short space of time, but we want to give a taste of what it’s like to be first team footballers. They play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday.
“West Ham, we watched them in the first game against Chelsea. They have some really good individuals, some really challenging wide men.
“It’ll be a challenging game but again, this is what we’re trying to work out. Can the boys produce it 40 times? Can they produce it twice a week? Because actually that’s what our first team require them to do."