Nathan Redmond believes England Under-21s' clash with Italy this week, at St Mary's, was ideal preparation ahead of next summer's European Championship finals.
The Young Lions beat their Italian counterparts 3-2 in the friendly match, with Saints defender Jack Stephens netting the winner with the last kick of the game.
The result extended England's unbeaten run to 15 matches, but they didn't have it all their own way, as they had to come from 2-1 down at half-time to prevail.
Redmond felt it was a fantastic way to begin the build-up to next summer's tournament in Poland.
"It was tough," he said. "A typical sort of Italian side – they were very good at their tactics, so it was a tough game and a tough test for us leading into next year and the finals.
"We started well, which we knew we had to, but the game changes and we went through a difficult patch.
"We've never faced something like that before. In the qualifiers, we were used to dominating, and at times we didn't have the ball, so we dealt with the situations a little bit differently, but we're delighted to get the win and delighted for Stevo to get the winning goal."