Jaïdi: We could have scored four

By SFC Media time Mon 26 Feb Blackburn v Saints
Photo by James Bridle | Radhi Jaïdi

For Saints U23s boss Radhi Jaïdi, this PL Cup fixture may well have produced another high-scoring away Saints victory.

His young charges put five past Newcastle United in the PL2 last week and arguably created enough chances to do the same against Blackburn here in the PL Cup, only for two fine goalkeeping performances at both of the ends of the field.

Despite the result, which sees Saints qualify for the knockout stages as runners-up in Group B, Jaïdi was happy with the attacking intent he saw from his team.

"It was a frustrating night, but in a good way," he said. "I think we had the best of it on the pitch, created a lot of chances and we could have scored at least four. Their goalkeeper made too many saves and their defenders too many blocks.

"I said to the boys it’s a positive to come here and impose our game, play our football and create in the final third. They were disappointed not to win it but it’s a lesson to learn for when we move onto the knockout stages."

For all of the visitors' promising build-up play, it took a Jack Rose penalty-save to keep them in the game on the stroke of half-time, a moment which ought to have pushed Saints onto victory after the break.

"The momentum was changing in the first half, we began to take control but had Jack to thank for his save at the end of the half.

"It was a game that really could have gone either way but considering the way we played, you could have seen three or four goals from our side and that would have been a perfect night for us."

With younger members of the squad now stepping into the fold, performances on the up in recent weeks and a PL Cup last 16 tie now to look forward to, Jaïdi and his team are ready to approach "an important period" with optimism.

"I’m looking forward to this period that’s on the way and seeing how the boys will respond.

"I’m satisfied with the younger guys’ performances; Jake Vokins has been playing for us a few times recently and we wanted to give Christoph Klarer a taste of this level and see how he could handle it.

"I think overall they all managed it well and delivered some positive performances. There’s a lot to learn so I hope they can keep working hard on the pitch.

"We said at the start that we wanted to go as far as possible in this competition but the most important thing for us is to keep the momentum now into the PL2."


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