MARK Hughes has admitted he has a tough job in having to disappoint a lot of players.

The Saints boss has two or three senior and experienced stars for almost every position, and pretty much a fully fit squad.

It has left him with difficult decisions to make not just in terms of who does or doesn’t make the team but also which players are even selected to be on the bench.

Hughes has so far used 16 players in his starting line-ups in the Premier League, but did make ten changes to the teams that started against Leicester and Crystal Palace in the top flight for the Carabao Cup clash with Brighton to try and get the rest of his squad some game time.

Several senior players have struggled to even be among the subs for Premier League games, as witnessed by summer signing Stuart Armstrong and striker Manolo Gabbiadini travelling with the squad to Selhurst Park but not making the matchday 18 for the 2-0 win.

In terms of man management it is a difficult ask for Hughes to keep everybody happy when they aren’t playing, but he is continuing to insist that all his 25 man squad have an important part to play.

“I have a lot of good players and I had to disappoint any number,” he admitted.

“There were four or five that didn’t make the first team matchday squad and they haven’t done anything wrong. They have trained conscientiously as they always do, and it’s a shame you have to disappoint.

“They understand it’s a long season and the 25-man squad will be used right from now until the end of the season.

“A lot of guys who were disappointed will play a part before the end of the season.”

One of the only areas Saints look a little short on cover is at right back.

When playing a back four Cedric Soares is the only recognised senior player in that position, though Jack Stephens has shown he can deputise if required.

Cedric was the last player to report back from a post-World Cup holiday and has been called upon to play regularly.

It proved a tough ask in the early games but the Portuguese defender showed he is finding form and fitness with a good display at Palace.

“Absolutely,” agreed Hughes. “He’s a fit boy anyway so it’s not as if he’s going to lose too much fitness.

“He didn’t have a huge break, three of four weeks maximum, but it’s not like when I was playing where you didn’t do anything pre-season and it took three or four weeks to get the excess fat off.

“These guys have really low body fat so it’s not quite like it was in my day.”