Martin Hunter wants Saints’ Under-21 team to ‘get back to what we’re good at’ ahead of hosting their counterparts from Tottenham at St Mary’s on Tuesday night.
Technical Director Hunter will lead an U21s team seeking to end a run of three consecutive league defeats, while their previous game against Huddersfield Town saw them exit the U21 Premier League Cup a fortnight ago.
Saints return to the scene of their cup defeat to a game which is free for entry to all supporters on Tuesday, which offers a chance for the team to move on in familiar territory.
“We’ve put that behind us and you’ve got to do that. The players have been working hard and we’re ready to play Tottenham,” Hunter told youtube.com/southamptonfc
“We’ve certainly worked on lots of things and now we look forward to the game because we can’t look behind us. We were disappointed, but now we’ve got Tottenham who we beat away from home and played particularly well that evening so we’ll be looking to do the same again on Tuesday evening.”
Saints were 2-0 victors over Spurs at Stevenage in December, but have not won a game since, with Hunter hoping to see a strong performance first and foremost.
“Just the way we play with our energy levels and the way that we do things, we need to get back to what we’re good at,” he explained.
“Both teams will be slightly different. We’ve got players out on loan and they had Andros Townsend last time, but since losing him they’ll have changes to their team and so will we.”
With six players out on loan from the development squad Hunter will need to freshen up his side, and he’s challenged those that remain to step up.
He said: “I see us performing at the levels we need to and I see the younger players getting more opportunities as the season develops while our more experienced players are out on loan so there’ll be opportunities for newer boys who’ve not yet stepped up to the 21s to show what they can do which is good.
“They have to play to their full potential, see if they can catch the eye of the first team staff and look to their own futures.”
After Tuesday’s game, the 21s are scheduled to have game every week for the next month, which is music to Hunter’s ears.
“It’s terrific,” he said. “It’s a run of games every week now as the season progresses. The Norwich game was postponed so we could be playing twice a week soon which is great, and we’ve got some real momentum now in terms of the fixtures that are coming up.”