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Ronald Koeman Summons Young Saints to Help Decimated Southampton Squad

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Ronald Koeman will be calling on the kids this weekend after injury and suspension decimated Southampton's squad.

The club's best-ever top-flight start has been brought to an abrupt halt in recent weeks, with Tuesday's Capital One Cup loss at Sheffield United continuing an embarrassing run of form.

That was Southampton's fifth straight defeat in all competitions and a result which has had repercussions far beyond denting confidence.

Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama will miss Everton's visit to St Mary's this weekend after being booked at Bramall Lane, while Florin Gardos is suspended after being sent off against the League One side.

Those absentees compound a growing injury list, with Jay Rodriguez, Sam Gallagher and Jack Cork joined on the sidelines by Dusan Tadic and Jake Hesketh.

As if that was not enough, Steven Davis and Graziano Pelle are doubts for a match in which Koeman will be relying on Southampton's much-vaunted youth system.

"Our approach is not different now because we lost the last five games," the Southampton manager said.

"We know that if we have a lot of injuries, like we have, it is one of the philosophies of the club to bring in young players.

"Maybe we will play two or three young under-21s players this Saturday, maybe we will have three on the bench. This is one of the philosophies."

Harrison Reed and Lloyd Isgrove are among those academy graduates with a chance of making a first Premier League start this weekend.

Jason McCarthy, Dominic Gape, Jake Flannigan, Sam McQueen and Ryan Seager are others vying for a place in the squad to face Everton, as Saints look to end their worst losing run of the 21st century.

"It's sometimes difficult," Koeman said. "The team was doing well after a good start to the season and after a few weeks disappointed about the results.

"Not the way we lost against Burnley or Man United but very disappointed about the way we lost against Sheffield, because that was the first time to be disappointed about the team to have the fight, the spirit, the aggressive play that we didn't show.

"Sheffield showed us how you have to deal and to beat a Premier League club when you are a League One team. That message, we need it for this Saturday."

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ToffeeAndy

    December 19, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Everton is being set up to lose this one, I just know it.

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