Radhi Jaïdi has called on his Under-23s side to bounce back quickly from Friday’s 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City ahead of tomorrow’s PL Cup trip to Watford.
Victory last week would have all but sealed Saints’ place in the last 16 of the knockout competition only for a late goal to punish a sloppy performance at Staplewood Campus.
With a second bite at the cherry on the way at Vicarage Road, Jaïdi is keen to see an improved showing from his team, particularly in forward positions.
“We didn’t impose ourselves on the game as we usually would,” he said. “My team is normally so good at playing through the lines and creating chances to score but we didn’t do that against Cardiff.”
“I told the boys that we need to react quickly. They had matured well and shown a really good standard of performance in recent games before Friday.”
Two convincing league wins over West Brom and Stoke had preceded that defeat and the U23s coach is expecting his young charges to return to their usual level at a Premier League venue on Thursday afternoon.
“I’m expecting a good level and a high standard game, particularly since it will be played at Vicarage Road.
“We haven’t had a lot of time to turn things round after Cardiff but we’ve made it clear that our end product and movement off the ball needs to be a lot better; Watford have quality players, a lot of younger guys who will be fighting for their places in the squad.
“The boys can’t wait to get out there and play at a larger stage than usual.”