SAINTS’ outcasts have given Mauricio Pellegrino plenty of food for thought after a friendly win over Fulham at Staplewood.

The Cottagers match was set up for those fringe players and players not on international duty to get some game time and impress the St Mary’s chief.

And it was certainly mission accomplished for two of those out in cold, with Charlie Austin and James Ward-Prowse both scoring in the 2-0 triumph.

Striker Austin has not started a single Premier League match this season, playing just an hour of league football this season so far.

But the 28-year-old gave his manager plenty to think about as he slotted in Nathan Redmond’s cut back in the win over the Championship side.

Saints’ attack has been misfiring this season, with just five goals in total and three from open play in eight games in all competitions.

So it would have been a real plus for Austin to show the Argentine, who was celebrating his 46th birthday by watching his side in this behind-closed-doors match, what he can do.

The former QPR man, who netted a last-minute penalty against West Ham in August but has been restricted to just one start in the Carabao Cup defeat to Wolves, will now hope to get his first league start of the season a week Sunday when Saints welcome Newcastle United to St Mary’s in the Premier League.

Shane Long and Manolo Gabbiadini have been Pellegrino's first picks upfront so far this campaign, but the goals have yet to start flowing.

Ward-Prowse, who has been also out in the cold after initially being a part of the starting side at the beginning of the campaign, took his chance to impress too.

The midfielder has started just two Premier League games this term, but he laid down a marker with a goal against Fulham, slotting home after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.

Danish midfielder Hojbjerg, who Saints signed from Bayern Munich for around £12.8m last summer, himself hasn’t been involved at all for Saints this term but would have hoped to catch his manager’s eye in an attempt to force his way into contention.

That seems unlikely at this stage with Mario Lemina and Oriol Romeu very much first choice in the holding midfield department.

Pellegrino will also have run the rule over academy graduates Matt Targett and Sam McQueen as well as forgotten central defender Florin Gardos, who all started this game against the Cottagers.

Meanwhile, an undoubtedly frustrated Jack Stephens will have liked to remind his boss that he is still very much in the first team picture at centre-back, after losing his place following Wesley Hoedt’s arrival and Virgil van Dijk’s comeback.

Stephens was first pick next to Maya Yoshida at the start of the campaign, but has slipped down the pecking order to make way for £15m signing from Lazio Hoedt and Van Dijk, who came back to the fold after his transfer stand-off.

He played the full match at Staplewood.