Fleming: We weren’t clinical enough

By SFC Media Sat 11 Feb Fulham U18 vs Saints U18
Photo by Naomi Baker | Craig Fleming

Southampton Under-18s didn’t show enough quality in the final third during their 3-0 defeat away to Fulham, according to manager Craig Fleming.

Saints fell to three second-half strikes in nine minutes at Motspur Park, but had enough chances to be ahead before the hosts netted their opener on the 71st minute.

“Disappointment is the overriding feeling at the end of it,” explained Fleming.

“At half time and 10 or so minutes into the second half it was 0-0 and we were still creating lots of chances. I think we counted four or five one-on-ones.

“But there wasn’t enough quality in the final third, by a long way. And as football does, if you aren’t sharp around your own box you end up coming away with a defeat - that’s what happened today.”

Fleming believes his side ‘capitulated’ following Michael Elstone’s opener, which then led to the hosts adding two more to their tally.

And the manager admits he had to take a serious tone with the players after the match.

“It’s getting the seriousness of it across to them,” he continued.

“The importance of needing to do your jobs both defensively and attacking wise. They are coming up to an age now where it’s not necessarily young academy football where everything is nice.

“There are serious decisions to be made on their careers in the short-term future, so they’ve got to realise that they have to really put 100% in to doing both things for 90 minutes.”

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