Dave Horseman was in a philosophical mood following his side’s 1-0 defeat to Brighton in Premier League 2 on Monday night.
On a floodlit St Mary’s pitch Southampton’s B team conceded the eventual winner on 37 minutes, as Max Sanders let fly into the top corner to give the Seagulls a first half lead.
Saints, who featured nine players with first team experience in the starting eleven on Monday, enjoyed the majority of possession but couldn’t find the equaliser on what was a frustrating evening.
But Horseman was keen to point out the bigger picture after the narrow defeat:
“It wasn’t a great game, I think we’ve had better games recently but sometimes there’s a bigger purpose to these games, those match minutes for those who haven’t had so many.
“The [first team] boys have dropped in because we want to give them minutes and match time and you can see that doing that will have a benefit to them long term.
“But the initial bit was a bit disjointed. Probably lacked a bit of the intensity that we were after and a few organisational bits against the ball which we corrected at half-time and were better second half, without being brilliant.
“It’s also useful for the manager [Ralph Hasenhüttl] and his staff to see who is ready to be called upon if and when they’re needed.
“Then it’s obviously useful for us in being able to work out a plan on how to make individuals better and where they need to be in terms of games to be ready later on.
“Allan [Tchaptchet] for example who was one of the younger players tonight performed ok and he’s not played at St Mary’s tonight. He’s definitely not played under the lights and against some Premier League players.
“It was a really good experience. The club do brilliantly to put these games on and to give the boys the best chance.
“I don’t think they particularly took it tonight but it’s all part of the learning experience for young players and they need to bounce back and bounce back quick.”
Saints are next in action on Friday night at Manchester United in PL2.