Soccer-Puel impressed by young Saints in cup win over Eagles

Sept 22 (Reuters) - Southampton manager Claude Puel has heaped praise on his young players following Wednesday's 2-0 League Cup win over Crystal Palace, saying their emergence augurs well for the future of the Premier League club. After Charlie Austin scored the opener at St Mary's Stadium, 20-year-old midfielder Jake Hesketh doubled Southampton's lead as Puel's side advanced to the fourth round. Puel also selected three 21-year-olds for the match --midfielders Harrison Reed and James Ward-Prowse, and defender Matt Targett. "We changed the team for the start of the game and we saw other players produce a very good game, with quality on the ball and creating many chances," Puel told the club's website ( "I think it is very interesting for the future and we can give also game-time for the young players like Reed or Hesketh. This is important for us to develop and improve all these young players." Southampton, who have drawn Sunderland in the fourth round, play away at West Ham United in their next league fixture on Sunday. (Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)