Harrison Reed was delighted to make his first Premier League start in Southampton’s 3-0 win over Everton.
Reed played alongside Steven Davis and James Ward-Prowse in Saints’ midfield and completed the full 90 minutes of the success where he stood up to the test offered by an illustrious opponent.
“It meant everything,” Reed told the club’s official YouTube channel of making his first start.
“That’s what I’ve been striving for all along. I’ve been patient on the bench watching games and thinking about how I can influence them so I tried to implement that in my performance.
“I’m absolutely buzzing and over the moon with the win and with the boys’ performance. A 3-0 win in front of our home fans was really good.”
His manager, Ronald Koeman, hailed the youngster’s performance for the spirit he showed throughout the game, but Reed says he was simply doing his job.
“I tried to pick up the second balls, fight for the team and fight for myself, too,” he said, “because when we win the second balls we can control the game more, and I’m really pleased with that.
“Playing against players like Ross Barkley, an England international who is very experienced in the Premier League now, who uses his body well – and I’m not the tallest as you can see – so I had to be clever and try not to get too close to him, then when I had the ball I had to try and win some fouls.
“I rushed into a few tackles as I got a bit excited at times, but I learnt from that. Sammy Lee spoke with me at half-time and said 'don’t make stupid fouls' so I had that in mind and I’m really pleased.”
The team bounced back after a run of five league games without a win, and Reed hailed the significance of the 3-0 success.
“It’s absolutely massive,” he asserted. “After a difficult few weeks where we haven’t been playing badly, we’ve just been unlucky with a few results, to put it straight with a 3-0 win in front of the fans was really important to do.
“It’s important that we know if we have suspensions and injuries that we have players that can come in and do a job. Even if we have a few losses, the team and the spirit in there stays the same. We know we can be a top four team and we’re pushing to do that.
“There’s belief and confidence in the changing room which stays the same and we’ll go through this Christmas period with belief and character from the players which we have.
“To score three good goals, keep a clean sheet against a good Everton side with England internationals in really shows that we are a good side.”