Jake Hesketh feels Southampton can take their experience of the Checkatrade Trophy forward tonight, ahead of a trip to Colchester United.
In the first of three group games, Martin Hunter’s side earned a point with their goalless draw with Charlton Athletic at The Valley.
It was a game where Saints dominated and combatted the direct physical threat of the Sky Bet League One outfit, something which Hesketh feels will be valuable tonight.
He said: “The last game against Charlton we were really happy with and although we lost into the penalty shootout, we got a point which we can take into the next two games.
“We played really well and did everything we wanted to do but the last pass or the last shot was just missing slightly.
“They’ll probably be quite a physical team who are direct . They’re experienced players so that’s something we’ll have to deal with.
“The competition has had mixed reviews but we’ve always looked forward to it as it’s a different challenge to playing people your own age.”
Hesketh has recently enjoyed a taste of first-team action, scoring his first senior goal against Crystal Palace in the EFL Cup, before starting against Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the UEFA Europa League.
And the midfielder paid tribute to the fact there is a clear pathway if you are playing well in the Academy.
“It’s been an up and down few weeks but I’ve got to take positives from both games and take that into tomorrow night and try to get back in the manager’s plans.
“If you’re playing well and the opportunity arises you’re going to get a chance here which helps and it’s shown all season because we’ve been consistent throughout.”