Jaïdi: Enjoying the ride

By SFC Media time Mon 29 Apr Saints v Sunderland
Photo by James Bridle | Radhi Jaïdi

At the beginning of the week, it was a three horse race for the Premier League 2 title; with fellow challengers Wolves and Reading locked on 40 points alongside Saints.

Since then, the Midlands outfit, also with a favourable goal difference, have made it virtually impossible for Radhi Jaïdi’s side to be crowned league champions with their 3-2 win over Manchester United.

Not to be deterred, though, Saints still have plenty to play for. They’re guaranteed a play-off spot, and a win over Sunderland on Monday night will secure second place, and therefore an all-important home draw for the play-off semi's.

If so, St Mary’s will play host to Saints’ bid for Division One football next term, and it’s a challenge that Jaïdi and his young troops are relishing.

“Second position allows us to play at home, but also, in theory you get the easier draw,” the Under-23s boss began.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: Will Smallbone of Southampton scores from the penalty spot (middle) during the Under 23s PL2 match between West Bromwich and Southampton FC pictured on April 18, 2019 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by James Bridle - Southampton FC/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Will Smallbone celebrates Saints' opening goal in last week's 1-1 draw with West Brom

"It's an opportunity again for us to get to Division One. We're still enjoying the ride.

"We're unlucky not to be in a position to win it, but it's 23s level - there's always a development aspect to this league.

"This season's experience has been invaluable; we've competed at the top of the table for more than half of the season.

"The squad are really disappointed that they can't win the league. I'm proud to say that we've embedded a winning culture among these boys.

"In everything they do they want to be the best. They'll strive to be ready for the play-offs now."


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