Southampton boss Claude Puel made no apologies for making 10 changes to his starting lineup as Saints crashed to earth with a 5-0 FA Cup defeat to Arsenal on Saturday.
The midweek heroics of seeing off Liverpool to reach the EFL Cup final seemed distant as Saints’ second-string were no match for Arsenal’s reserves.
But Puel said he would not change his decision despite the lopsided result.
“I decided to make changes, but if I had the moment again to make the selection I would do the same again,” said Puel. “It’s a difficult moment for us with recovery.
“Before the game we had nine players not available for this game. And playing always with the same players, it’s impossible for us.
“It’s a good lesson for the future, and it was important to come back in the second-half with a good answer and good play, and it was better. But the balance between young players and experienced players was not enough.
“We have very important games against Swansea and West Ham coming up.”
Puel insisted he will wait for the results of scans on Virgil van Dijk’s foot injury before deciding whether to sign a defender before the close of the transfer window.
“For Virgil [Van Dijk] I’d hope that Monday or Tuesday we can have an answer on his injury.
“I maintain what I said, I prefer to wait for the results of Virgil’s diagnostics [before making a final decision on a possible new recruit]. And we’ll decide what to do after this. We have to wait for the results.”
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