Lloyd Isgrove believes this year’s Checkatrade Trophy campaign has been hugely beneficial for Southampton.
Saints were knocked out after a 3-4 defeat to Reading on penalties at St Mary's, but Isgrove believes the the competition will stand the youngsters in good stead for the future.
“We’ve played some strong first teams,” started Isgrove.
“Obviously in Reading we faced another Under-23s side, so that was match for match. But in the previous games we’ve come up against strong senior teams.
“So it’s been a really good competition for us, especially the younger lads, coming up against teams like that.
“Playing against league opposition is where you really improve - it will have helped them a lot. You are playing against first team players who are a lot more physical and quicker.
“All of that will help them develop, so it’s been good to be a part of. Obviously we are out now, but we will look forward to the next competition that we are involved in.”