Southampton’s Under-23 assistant coach Radhi Jaïdi praised the young players in his team for stepping up to take a point at Arsenal.
Saints held their counterparts from north London to a goalless draw at Borehamwood’s Meadow Park on Friday night, with an especially youthful team.
They went close to winning it late on too, but the draw extends their unbeaten Premier League 2 record to four matches.
“I think overall, it was a positive point to come here,” said Jaïdi. “We spoke about the environment with the players, and what was difficult which was the pitch which was sticky and dry so I think the boys dealt pretty well with that.
“Defensively we did really well,” he added. “First half and second half we spoke about Arsenal’s strengths in the central midfield and we had details on the short passes which I think we dealt really well with, especially the overloads as well.
“It was a good performance from our young boys. We had five younger boys and scholars and I think their performance was positive.”
Saints ended the game strongly and had some late opportunities to win it, with makeshift striker Tyreke Johnson going closest to registering a goal.
“We had three clear chances second half and we could have put one away but Tyreke is not used to that position and he needs to work on how to make the most of those opportunities,” said Jaïdi.
“With those chances Tyreke could have had a hat-trick tonight, but we didn’t expect it from the scholars and younger boys tonight. Our performance was really good and that sends a good message to everyone.
“Overall, we dealt really well with their strength up front and quality of their skilful players. We defended really well and kept putting in the blocks and the distances right from the first minute.
“First half we couldn’t pass the ball as we wanted to but that’s something we can probably work on to pass the ball quicker and switch the play to penetrate them from the other side. That’s where we could have done better, but overall defensively was great and we stopped them from penetrating us and scoring goals.
“The defenders and Harry with Thomas O’Connor in front of them did well in that aspect.”
“It was a good performance from our young boys. We had five younger boys and scholars and I think their performance was positive.RADHI JAÏDI
u23S assistant coach