Mark Hughes praised Saints’ Premier League teenage debutant Yan Valery.

With Ryan Bertrand and Matt Targett both missing through injury, Hughes moved Cedric Soares to the left side in a back five and handed Valery a top-flight bow against Manchester United.

There was also a first Premier League start for Michael Obafemi, and Hughes was delighted with the response from his teenage duo.

“I got confidence from their performance in midweek if I’m honest,” said Hughes, who played the pair in the Carabao Cup tie at Leicester.

“Michael Obafemi has got outright pace, blinding pace, and that’s something we’ve probably lacked at the top end of the pitch. Whenever you have got a player that can really stretch a team it’s going to be an advantage to you.

“He played well in midweek, as did Yan Valery. I have to say Yan Valery has come into the team tonight, it’s his first Premier League start, it’s his home debut, it’s against Manchester United and he’s done exceptionally well and that’s credit to him. Not a lot fazes him and he’s a good athlete as well.

“He has ticked a lot of boxes that will help him in his development and we are delighted with what he’s produced in the two games he’s played.

“I didn’t think it was a risk. I knew they had the potential to cause United problems and I’m pleased they were able to perform again.”

Saints were cheered off by fans at the end of the 2-2 draw at St Mary’s and Hughes added: “We had the same at Leicester in midweek as well. We have to give them what they want and demand and that is fully committed performances with endeavour and no little skill.

“That’s what we’ve been doing for the majority of the season. We haven’t got the results and we feel we are at least six or seven points better than what we have got on the board.

“We feel we are better than the position we are in. It is what it is at the moment.

“We picked up a point against a big club, a club with huge resources, and we deserve the Premier League point we earned and never underestimate the value of picking up points along the way.”