Claude Puel admitted he will most likely stick with a young side when Saints host Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round a week on Saturday.

Saints landed the home tie against the Gunners after edging out Norwich in a third round replay thanks to Shane Long’s injury time winner at St Mary’s last night.

Puel named six academy graduates in a side that contained eight changes for the Canaries, and with the tie against Arsenal coming between the EFL Cup semi-final second leg at Liverpool and an important Premier League game at Swansea, he is likely to follow a similar pattern in his selection.

He said: “We will see every time. We need to play every three days, just as Southampton have to play all these games, and we will see for the recovery for any player, and we will see for Arsenal.

“We will continue with a good balance between experienced players and young player and it’s important I think for Southampton to continue this work and develop these players.

“All these possibilities gives more opportunities for the future and it is interesting for example to see Jack Stephens in this situation.

“We know with Jose Fonte’s situation particular and perhaps he leaves the club, it is important also to see Jack and other players in this situation.”

Puel was pleased to get past Norwich, but confessed it was not an easy game for his side.

“We are happy because it is always a difficult game against Norwich,” he said.

“It was good management in the first half perhaps without the good result to have other situations.

“I think we can do a good second half with many chances, good reasons, a lot of opportunities without perhaps the clinical, but it was a good management of the game. “Difficult. A packed defence for 90 minutes and I think for one time in this moment all the players can be happy.

“It is important now to play against Arsenal, another opportunity for my players and a mix between experienced players and young players and this is very interesting for us to develop the academy players.”

One disappointment for Saints was the attendance, which on a chilly midweek only just broke the 13,000 mark, despite a hefty cut in the ticket prices.

“We play many games, and an important game arrives on Sunday (against Leicester) and it was cold,” reflected Puel.

“It was not the Premier League and I think it’s normal since the beginning of the season all the fans come, outside away and at home. The support is fantastic.

“We played against Inter Milan at the San Siro with 8,000 fans which is very interesting.

“To come here in all these competitions I understand it’s not easy to come.”