Under-21s assistant Radhi Jaïdi believes this week’s Midlands training camp was a good experience, despite the trip being rounded off with a defeat at the hands of Derby County earlier today.
Saints’ youngsters lost 3-0 to the Rams at St George’s Park, with all three goals coming in the first half.
Derby took an early lead thanks to Shaquille McDonald, with Ivan Calero doubling their advantage in the 19th minute before the tie was settled moments before the interval when Offrande Zanzala scored the third and final goal of the game.
Despite Saints’ disappointing first half, they came out fighting after the break with an improved performance.
Jaïdi, who was in charge of the team, saw the game as a good contest for his players as they look to get ready for the coming season.
He told saintsfc.co.uk: “As a member of the staff, I think they will all agree with me that it was a great test for the boys.
“We played against a good team who were really aggressive in all areas of the pitch, so for our younger boys I think it was a good experience.
“What was pleasant was the second half – We saw the players perform better despite what happened in the first half.
“We saw a reaction. They stepped up in the challenges and didn’t concede any goals so, as a coach, it is encouraging to see this attitude from the players.
“I think they will take it on board and it was a great opportunity for them to learn from.”
Overall, despite the week-long stay being book-ended by defeats, Jaïdi was encouraged by how the club’s under-21 and under-18 squads bonded during their time in the Midlands.
“I think it was really beneficial for the boys, especially on the football knowledge side,” affirmed the former Saints defender. “The winning will come but learning about the basics and the small details is the most important thing.
“The plan now is for the players to stick to the basics and we will talk them through the little bits which will help them throughout the season.
“Some of them are trying to get their fitness levels to 100% and some of them are trying to learn from it, like today.
“Their development is getting better and they will get improve through the season and it was a good opportunity for the boys to be together for the last five or six days to learn a lot about themselves and the staff around them.
“We, as staff, had the opportunity to sit down with the players to talk to them about the princicples and the style of play and all the small details that we need to pass on,” said the former defender.
“It was a great opportunity for the new boys to learn what the academy is about and it is pleasant to see a positive group and a group of learners who take on board what we are trying to tell them.”