RALPH Hasenhuttl described the development of a B team at Saints as a "big project", adding: "Young players know they have a chance to play here."

Hasenhuttl could give some of his talented youngsters an opportunity tomorrow, when Saints host Championship Brentford in the Carabao Cup (7.45pm).

Earlier this month, the club announced they would be revamping their under-23s side into a B team for the new campaign, in what they described as a "structural and philosophical overhaul".

The move sees training not clash between the first and B teams, allowing Hasenhuttl and his coaches the chance to oversee the development of the club's youngsters.

Dave Horseman's side will also now play most of their games at AFC Totton rather than the Staplewood Campus.

Discussing the benefits of the changes, Hasenhuttl told the Daily Echo: "Absolutely it was a long-term decision we took, working with our Playbook, bringing staff from the first team to develop the staff in the academy and this has made a very good start.

"I think you could immediately see an identity in the youth teams now and this is the way we want to go.

"It was a big project over the summer. It seems that it’s going in the right direction. Matt Crocker does a fantastic job there, Craig Fleming and Kelvin Davis, they are very responsible for this development.

"The youth staff are happy about getting info from us and getting support from us. We are now a big family if you want.

"Everybody is taking care of each other and I think this is what should make us special."

Two members of the Saints academy who signed new long-term deals with the club during pre-season were 20-year-old duo Will Smallbone and Jake Vokins.

Smallbone started Saturday's Premier League opener at Crystal Palace, with Vokins among the substitutes.

Asked how big a role those two in particular could play at Saints this season, Hasenhuttl said: "I think this is our way, as we always say at Southampton Football Club, we must develop our young players.

"We must give them a chance and meanwhile I think after a few years where it was not definitely so clear that this is the philosophy of Southampton Football Club, now we are back on this way and it is also well-known now, especially the young players, they know that they have a chance to play here.

"This may be the reason why they really like to come to us because they get a quick platform to show themselves in the Premier League and this is definitely what they want to do."