Butterfield on U18s trip to Reading

By SFC Media Fri 17 Nov Reading v Saints
Photo by James Bridle | Danny Butterfield

Intent on returning to winning ways after a lacklustre performance against Norwich last time out, Under-18s coach Danny Butterfield has used the recent international break as a period of reflection for his young charges.

Saints travel to Reading tomorrow, as the U18s Premier League campaign approaches its halfway point and Butterfield has tasked his young cohort with replicating the level of performance that triumphed against league leaders Chelsea in October.

"The break has given the boys a chance to settle down and analyse the season up until now," the ex-Saints defender began.

"The focus is definitely on a response post-Norwich, it was a disappointing display, when you contrast it with the standards that the boys have set of late.

"We hope that they're chomping at the bit to try and rectify that Norwich result, but also get back to what they're capable of showing.

"We've watched Reading, they're a competent side. A big powerful team with individuals capable of winning games single handedly."

17-year-old Will Smallbone was one of a few standout performers in Saints' midweek Senior Cup victory at Staplewood, netting a brace and registering a couple of assists to cap a fine display.

Asked about the pleasing progress of his second-year scholars, Butterfield commented: "Will [Smallbone] got a couple of goals and most of the attacking play came through him, we know he is capable of that. With players his age, it is about finding consistency. It is nice he's being recognised.

"All of our players aspire to be given an opportunity in the older or senior age groups, it should act as a benchmark. Credit to the players who have stepped up and stood out.

"Our job as coaches is to progress the lads as individuals and then pass them on to the next stage of their development."

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