Radhi Jaïdi says Jonathan Afolabi should use his goal against Arsenal Under-23s as a platform to build from after netting his first strike for the club at that level.
Young striker Afolabi netted on his first start for the Under-23s against the Gunners on Monday night in Saints’ 3-1 reverse to Arsenal at Staplewood Campus.
His effort had given the hosts a lead before the visitors turned the match around, but U23s assistant coach, Jaïdi, felt there were positives for the whole squad to take, including an obvious one for Afolabi.
“It’s a second game for Jonno having played against Reading where he had chances which he missed so it was positive for him to score a goal and give him the confidence to keep working hard and improve,” said Jaïdi.
“There’s a big gap for him to improve on, but I think he did the necessary today and he scored the goal so he got the prize, which will hopefully keep him working hard between the 18s and 21s that will make him better.”
Saints edged the first half against Arsenal and led 1-0 until Arsenal fought back, with Jaïdi keen to see his side follow up the game with a good performance at Bristol City in the premier League Cup on Friday night.
“Our performance in the first half both defensively and attacking, I thought we had some good patches where we created chances and we switched the play to go through them and between them and in behind them,” he observed
“When we play again at Bristol hopefully we’ll take the good stuff and make it more consistent.
“With the younger boys, we’re looking for consistency and the positive things that they do all day because that will make them better players.”