U18 PREVIEW: Leicester City vs Southampton

By SFC Media time Fri 02 Oct Club

Southampton Under-18s face a trip to Leicester City on Saturday looking to bounce back from defeat to West Ham United last weekend.

After wins against Fulham and Swansea City to get their season up and running, Saints suffered a 2-0 loss at home to the Hammers a week ago.

Coach Craig Fleming will be back on the bench after missing the last few games with an injury of his own, and he believes at this stage it’s all about consistency for Saints’ youngsters.

“They’ve got to try and find that real consistency of performance throughout the game,” Fleming told youtube.com/southamptonfc.

“It’s not the wins, it’s the performances in general that have been pretty similar and that’s inconsistent. When they are good they’re very good and when they’re bad they’re not so great.

“The wins have helped but the results themselves aren’t the be-all and end-all at this moment and at this stage of their careers.”

A consistent level of performance is something defender Ollie Cook is striving for as he looks to help Saints pick up their first clean sheet of the campaign.

“The consistency of your performances plays a big part,” Cook said. “There’s lots we did well in those games, which we need to keep doing.

“The big thing we’re missing now is a clean sheet, which as a defender is something I’m really hungry for.

“We had a chat before some of the defensive work we did and said we hadn’t keep a clean sheet and it’s something that needs to happen pretty quickly.”

Cook and Fleming will hope that a consistency in their performance and a clean sheet come against Leicester City on Saturday, with the duo well aware of the test that lies in wait.

“We’ve seen quite a bit of them. Historically they are a physical side, they like to play and have lots of energy,” Fleming affirmed. “It will be a tough game.

“They’ve had some very good results this year and they’ve only been beaten once in the league this year, so it’ll be a tough game.”

Defender Cook also feels as though Saints’ youngsters will be tested. “Leicester are always solid,” he said. “They get the ball down and play football and that’s something we need to do in terms of matching them.

“They work hard, just like us. It will be a tight game with maybe one goal in it. I’m expecting a high tempo and physical game.”

Saints take on their Foxes counterparts at 12pm BST on Saturday. A report and reaction will be on saintsfc.co.uk later in the day.

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