Radhi Jaidi was full of praise for his young charges as Saints U23s battled past Cardiff in the PL Cup on Thursday afternoon.
The tie was decided by Tyreke Johnson's clinically struck winner - who was later shown a red card – but it was Southampton’s resilience and fighting spirit that pleased their manager most.
Speaking after the game, Jaïdi expressed his pride at the way his side dug deep to carve out a well-earned 1-0 victory in difficult conditions in the Welsh capital.
“The conditions were not ideal out there today and they made it tough for us to raise the tempo and get going in the final third,” he said.
“We dominated the play and created a lot of opportunities in the first half and perhaps we should have been in front at the interval. The boys improved in the second period and deserved this result.”
Johnson’s solo effort separated the sides but the stage was set for the forward to shine by a stern rearguard at the other end.
“I said to the boys before kick-off that it would be a tough afternoon. I asked them to keep their concentration and stay in the game by not conceding.
“Jack Rose made two excellent saves in the first half, Ollie Cook blocked one on the line, and that resilience in keeping the clean sheet allowed us to go on and win the match.
“Tyreke scored a great goal to seal it for us, it was a touch of real individual quality. He should be very happy with the way that he won us the game here in spite of the dismissal.
"Confidence is high in the dressing at the moment and we need to keep it that way moving forwards.”