Craig Fleming was delighted with the way his side dug in to defeat Wigan Athletic 2-1 in the FA Youth Cup.
Goals from Jonathan Afolabi and Michael Obafemi secured Saints safe passage into the fifth round, and Fleming was pleased with the way his men dealt with the physical threat posed by the hosts.
“It was difficult conditions,” he started.
“It was very, very windy and they set up in a formation that is really difficult to play against in a 4-3-3. Credit to them, they made it very difficult for us.
“But massive credit to our boys – they dug in. They showed at Old Trafford that they could play a technical game and come out and do well in that.
“Tonight was very much a blood and guts kind of game; second balls, battles and we came out on top as well. I can’t credit the boys enough for that.”
Match-winner Obafemi started the evening on the bench at the DW Stadium, but came on to score with his first touch of the tie.
And Fleming was impressed with the striker’s response to missing out on a starting berth.
“Obviously the boys look forward to these kinds of games so much,” he explained.
“But you’ve got to put that disappointment to one side. In the last game Will [Smallbone], who has been outstanding all season for us, found himself on the bench, but he showed a great attitude and came on and scored the winner.
“Michael did exactly the same today. He was very disappointment not to start but he put it to one side and when he came on he looked very, very sharp.”