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A Very Good Performance - Martin

PUBLISHED

10:38 5th March 2013

Martin Hunter was pleased to see his Under-21s extend their unbeaten run to four games with last night's draw against their Liverpool counterparts.

Saints went ahead at St Mary's through Vegard Forren's debut goal, but Krisztian Adorjan headed in an equaliser 13 minutes from time to ensure honours ended even.

Despite the late leveller, Hunter was content with how his players performed against a team that has only been beaten twice all season and included England international Jonjo Shelvey.

"It was a very good performance, particularly in the first half," he told Saints Player. "In terms of what we asked the players to do, I am very, very pleased.

"The whole purpose of this league is that you do play against some talented teams. Liverpool won their league at a canter before Christmas, so to play against the likes of the players that were on the pitch was great for the development and learning of our players.

"One-nil would have been a good reflection of the game. We've had two disallowed goals and they've had one as well, but it was a very good, technical game of football. It was very, very pleasing."

Hunter was especially pleased with the performance of Forren, who was making his first appearance for Saints at any level since signing for the Club in mid-January.

"He's settled in really well," Martin said of the Norwegian international. "He was defensively assured and particularly good in possession of the ball, and to get a goal off the set-play was very good. 

"He's a good technician but he's obviously lacking match practice and that's why the senior management team wanted him to play."

Saints are now midway through their Elite Group schedule, having won two, lost two and drawn three of their seven games to date.

Hunter's team sit third in the table at the midway point, with the eventual top three sides progressing to the end-of-season tournament to determine the overall Barclays U21 Premier League champion.

"We're more than holding our own," he said. "We are doing well in this league and, like the Under-18s, we'd like to finish in the top three and qualify for the final stages.

"The only team we've not played now are Arsenal, and we've got them next Monday so we'll have played everybody by then. 

"This was our seventh game and we're in third position, so it's very, very pleasing. So far, so good!"

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