Claude Puel was pleased with the performance of his young players in Southampton’s EFL Cup win over Crystal Palace.
Saints prevailed 2-0 in the third round at St Mary’s, with four academy graduates starting the match.
Jake Hesketh took the headlines, with his second-half goal wrapping up the victory, but the side also featured Harrison Reed, James Ward-Prowse and Matt Targett.
"I think it was a good performance from my players, because we played a third game at home in a week and it was important in another competition to find solutions,” Puel said.
“We changed the team for the start of the game and we saw other players produce a very good game, with quality on the ball and creating many chances. I think it is very interesting for the future, and we can give also game time for the young players, like Reed or Hesketh.
“This is important for us to develop and improve all these young players.”
Puel was also pleased to see Charlie Austin on target again, as he scored a penalty to make it four goals in three matches.
"He scored a penalty – without problems this time,” said Puel, laughing, as he referred to the debate with Dušan Tadić over who would take the spot kick in the win Europa League win over Sparta Praha last week.
“Charlie is confident and it's good for the team, but I can see also the game of Shane Long, who was unlucky not to score, because he had many chances and produced good runs. It was a good game from him, but he was not rewarded, and I hope he will be next time.”