Harrison Reed was delighted to be one of four Southampton academy graduates who helped Saints see off Crystal Palace in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night.
The midfielder was joined by James Ward-Prowse, Matt Targett and goalscorer Jake Hesketh on the pitch from the start in the 2-0 third round success at St Mary’s, with all four playing a big part in the game.
Reed was particularly pleased for Hesketh, who he has played alongside regularly at Under-23 level both this season and last.
“I’m over the moon for him,” Reed told youtube.com/southamptonfc. “You can see his quality day-in, day-out on the training ground and when you watch him in the 23s he’s playing the through-balls and scoring goals week-in, week-out so to do it on the big stage here was absolutely magnificent and he played really well.
“He’s always been a clever player, but I feel this season his end product has been really good and it’s something he’s been working on. As you saw tonight the two through-balls in the first half, a couple of chances in the second half, and he put his goal away really well.”
Reed hopes that the performances send a positive message about the talent pool within the academy, and added his pleasure at being part of a team filled with familiar faces.
“It’s really nice in the dressing room before and after the game to spend time with the boys who I grew up with here and the best thing is being on the pitch with them, looking to the side and seeing Prowsey as well as Matty and Hesk – it’s great for us,” he said.
“It’s important to show what we can do in training, but you earn your money on the pitch and show what you can do there because that’s what you’re judged on.
“For us it’s important that the pressure is on so that we show what we can do for the fans and our teammates as well. We’re just delighted to get the win tonight.”