Harrison Reed thought Southampton’s Under-23s had the better of the game against their Chelsea counterparts after they were held to a goalless draw at St Mary’s in Premier League 2.
Reed, who captained the side on the night, felt Saints had the chances to win the game, but was also satisfied that the team kept a clean sheet against a dangerous opponent.
“I thought we started a bit sloppy in the first half and that sort of set the standard for us, but in the second half we came out better,” he explained.
“We kept the ball better, but I think we needed that bit of magic tonight and unfortunately it didn’t come for us.
“I don’t really remember a shot on target from them aside from a little scramble in the box first half, but apart from that I can’t remember much else from them. We had the chance through Simsy [Josh Sims] in the first half which went past the post, and one chance fell nice to Hesk [Jake Hesketh] in the second, but unfortunately he didn’t put it away, and that’s football.
“You don’t win games without keeping clean sheets and that’s a foundation, so we’re pleased to keep a clean sheet, but we do feel like we should have won the game tonight.”
Reed played alongside a handful of other first team players on the night as some valuable match time was given to the likes of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Jay Rodriguez and Martín Cáceres, which the youngster felt was important for the players’ fitness levels.
“We’ve had loads and loads of games and then obviously this month we’ve got two games, then they’re all going to come thick and fast again, so it was good to get some game time tonight and make sure that we are ready for when the games do come fast again,” he highlighted.
“Hopefully the manager was impressed with some of the things that he saw tonight.
“We felt solid and it was good for us to get game time and I think you could see that some of us needed it, so that’s good.
“As we haven’t played for a little bit, some of us, you could probably see some rustiness, but it didn’t really click for us tonight, but you get games under your belt and that’s the way to improve.
“Towards the end I think I was struggling a little bit,” Reed added. “You can train and train and train, but you need match fitness as that’s very important.”