Cape Town - Claude
Puel admits the 1-0 win over Everton in their English Premier League
fixture on Sunday was a relief after a physically enduring week for his
Former Toffees boss Ronald Koeman's had made his first return to St Mary's since departing the club, and while the Koeman factor proved to be a huge talking point in English media, the French tactician says the Europa League loss to Sparta Prague was more worrying - as a host of his first-team members picked up niggling injuries.
A full first-team debut was handed to 19-year-old winger Josh Sims, as the home side secured victory with Charlie Austin's early strike.
"It was a difficult game to prepare for, because we lost our last game against Sparta Prague and we had the tiredness," he told the club's website. "We also had a lot of problems before the game with injuries and sick players.
"Sofiane Boufal felt a pain yesterday so it was not possible for him, but we will see for the next game against Arsenal, and Davis had a problem with his head, he was sick."
The Saints though looked to have discovered another academy prospect as Sims was awarded the Man of the Match award after providing the decisive assist to Austin.
The Southampton is regarded as one of the most respected in the country having produced players such as, Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Adam Lallana.