Southampton Under-23s coach Radhi Jaïdi was full of praise for his side following their 3-2 defeat away to a strong Chelsea side.
John Terry, Cesc Fabregas, Kurt Zouma and Michy Batshuayi were named in the starting line-up for the hosts, but Saints were equal to the challenge and led for the majority of the match.
“There was a good performance there, despite the result,” explained Jaïdi.
“We conceded two goals in the last few minutes, but prior to that we were in control and defended really well.
“We managed to score two clever goals and I thought it was a great performance, especially when you see the international players our younger boys were up against.
“Of course we are disappointed with the result, but that’s football. Sometimes you work really hard and just don’t get the result that you deserve.”
Despite the calibre of Chelsea’s side, Saints started brightly and raced to a 2-1 lead thanks to strikes from Olufela Olomola and Josh Sims.
And Jaïdi believes the quick start epitomized the attitude his players showed throughout the afternoon at Cobham.
“We showed great character,” he continued.
“The spirit was good and you could see it from the start in the changing room. All of the players were excited to go and perform.
“It was a great opportunity for our boys and I think they deserved better than that result. It didn’t happen, but we are all aware that they stood up to the level.”