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Pérez delighted with Saints display
Saints’ assistant manager Jesús Pérez was thrilled with the team’s performance at Barnsley and believes they can go far in this season’s Capital One Cup.
A side featuring some established names mixed with a flavour of youth ended up demolishing the Championship’s bottom side 5-1 at Oakwell to advance to the third round.
“We are delighted for the performance of all the squad,” said Pérez. “The players did very well, and young players from the bench as well.”
Mauricio Pochettino’s second-in-command added: “We tried to play with full respect of the competition and we want to give opportunity for all players. Hopefully we can go far in this cup.”
Teenagers Omar Rowe, Harrison Reed and Jake Sinclair were all handed their debuts during the second half, and Pérez was impressed with their impact.
“They train with us a lot of times, they know how we want to play, they know what the manager demands,” he said.
The Saints coaching staff were also pleased to see striker Emmanuel Mayuka net his first goal (above) for the club, a year after moving to St Mary’s.
While he was ineffective in the first half, when playing up top, the Zambian came more into the game after the break when he switched to the right, and he celebrated in style with a spectacular backflip in front of the 695 travelling fans, who also received a number of shirts from the players after the final whistle.
“He is working well,” said Pérez, of Mayuka. “I think he is thinking to use as well as possible the opportunities that at the moment he has. It is great for him and for us that he has scored the first goal. Hopefully it is not the last goal.”
Saints led 1-0 at half-time, meaning it wasn’t until later on in the game that they really accelerated away from the Tykes.
“The first half was a bit difficult to play, because the opposition tried to play with good discipline, good tactics and a high tempo as well,” said Pérez.
“We used the first half to adjust the team. It is not easy to play with different players, but I think the second half we played very well, high tempo, we pressed high very well, we attacked the balls and we got a lot of chances.”
Pérez also spoke of the club’s delight at seeing Rickie Lambert retain his place in the England squad yesterday.
“It’s the second big news in a short time,” he said. “He’s very happy, but all the club is very happy, recognising his great effort, and the great effort the club is doing as well to provide him the possibility to play in the Premier League with a good team around him. It is good news.”
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