Claude Puel was pleased to see his Southampton side move into the EFL Cup quarterfinals by defeating Sunderland 1-0 on Wednesday at St. Mary’s Stadium.
The Saints earned a spot in the last eight after Sofiane Boufal scored the lone goal of the game in the 66th minute. It was the Moroccan striker’s first goal for the club. Puel was pleased to have progressed and for the players that came into the team for the fixture against Sunderland.
“It was a very hard game,” Puel said after the win. “I chose at the start to change the team to leave some players in the dressing room.
“I wanted to give the chance in this game to players like Boufal and all of the young players.
“We have some injuries, so some players didn’t play in their position too, like Stephens for example.
“He played at right-back, but with a good attitude he played a good game, like all of the young players.”
Puel rotated his side quite heavily for the game, and was pleased with what he saw from the young players.
“The young players had a good spirit. Sometimes it was difficult for them, but they gave it everything and we got the victory,” Puel said.
“It was difficult because they didn’t have experience and maturity, but with energy and quality, like the goal of Boufal, it was okay.
“It was very hard to finish this game winning, but I am happy for the result, for the attitude and for the spirit of my players.”
Southampton will take on Arsenal in the EFL Cup quarterfinals.