Pochettino keen to help youngsters develop

Mauricio Pochettino is proud to continue Southampton's tradition of giving home-grown youngsters a chance to impress in the Premier League.

The emergence of Luke Shaw and James Ward-Prowse in recent seasons has seen the south-coast club lauded for their ongoing commitment to developing young talent.

Midfielder Harrison Reed, 19, is the latest prospect to rise through the ranks and he made his second senior appearance in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Aston Villa.

Pochettino said: "It's clear that at Southampton we have an important project that is based around young players.

"We always want to nurture young talent and that's what we have been doing this season, as we have done in previous seasons.

"We want to support these young players.

"It's also clear that we have a short squad. It's important that we give these young players a lot of time to mature and experience what it is to be in the Premier League."

Southampton are on course to equal their highest Premier League finish of eighth and Pochettino thinks that 2013-14 represents a memorable season for the club.

He added: "I think we've already achieved quite a high grade.

"We've already done really well throughout the entire season, taking into account all the problems that we have had on and off the pitch.

"I think that we've had a fantastic season so far. Of course it would be great to finish the season on a high note, but so far, if you analyse the season, we've been having a fantastic season."