Hunter wants more of the same from under-21 side

By SFC Media Mon 15 Feb Club

Southampton Under-21s boss Martin Hunter wants his side to build on their performance against Tottenham when they visit Everton tonight.

Saints drew 1-1 with Spurs in a Barclays Under-21 Premier League contest at St Mary’s last Tuesday, ending a run of three defeats in the division.

Their performance earned them the praise of Technical Director Hunter, who now wants to see them back it up this evening.

“It's always interesting when you come out of the game itself and you can have an actual good look back at it,” he told Southampton's official YouTube channel.

“We played better than I thought we did, particularly in the first half. I thought some of the individual and team defending throughout the game was excellent, probably as good as we've had this season, so that was pleasing.

“When you look at some of the performances of certain players, it was very, very pleasing and it bodes well for their futures.”

Hunter added: “We need to build on that. Consistency with this age group is always one of the hardest things for them to grasp, so we'll be looking for more of the same on Monday.”

Saints will be without defender Josh Debayo, after he suffered a dislocated shoulder in the early stages of the draw with Spurs.

He was replaced at left-back by 15-year-old Jake Vokins, while under-18s defender Alfie Jones again played the entire match.

Hunter is encouraged by the rapid progression of such young players and says that should provide incentive to others in the academy.

“It should show that there's a chance for them,” he said. “Inspired is a good word. It should make them more determined to train well every day, make sure they get all their school work done and make sure that when an opportunity does come that they have a real good go of it.

"I'm pretty sure that we'll be even younger on Monday, so again it's a chance for some boys who've just been sitting on the bench to come and play in the team, and again an opportunity for more of the 18s to be on the bench for Monday evening.”

On the challenge he expects from Everton, who won 2-0 at Staplewood when the sides met earlier in the season, Hunter said: "The normal tough game.

“They've had better of most of the encounters. They're always very well organised, they're very enthusiastic and difficult to beat, particularly on their own patch, so I expect nothing different.”.

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