Jason Dodd has revealed he’ll be running the rule over a raft of younger players moving up to his ranks when Saints Under-18s take on Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
Southampton travel to Spurs’ training ground on Saturday for a midday kick-off against the newly-crowned Barclays U18 Premier League South Group champions in what is Saints’ final game of the season.
Victory wouldn’t alter sixth-placed Saints’ position in the South Group and the U18 boss is using the game as an indicator of certain players’ levels with a view to the 2014/15 campaign.
Dodd told saintsfc.co.uk: “It’s our last game of the season. We need to look at some of our scholars for next year, so we’ll be putting some in to have a look at them.
“It’ll give Paul Williams and I a look at them again – some of them have played for us already – after seeing them training. It’ll let us know what we’ve got to work on for next season.
“I’m not going to hold it against our boys if we come a little unstuck because we’ll be going there with a smaller squad than usual.”
Tottenham confirmed their status as the South Group’s winners with a 7-2 thrashing away to Chelsea on Tuesday, adding to the best goal difference in the southern division and highlighting their attacking prowess.
Dodd is under no illusion that Spurs will provide a major test but is grateful for it to see how new youngsters fare when performing to their optimum level.
“It will be a difficult game for us – we know that,” the coach admitted. “We’ll be going up there to put a good performance in and give everything.
“If we get something from the game, it’ll be a bonus. They’ve been the best side in the league this season and there position shows that. It’ll be decent for us to put ourselves against the team at the top of the table.
“If we give it everything until we can’t give no more and get beat, then you’ve just got to hold your hands up. We’ll be happy with the performance they put it if they give their all.
“The training ground over there is superb and the pitch is fantastic. We just want our boys to go up there and finish the season off on a decent performance.”