Technical Director Martin Hunter says Fraser Forster played a key role in helping Southampton progress in the Under-21 Premier League Cup.
he goalkeeper made his first appearance in more than nine months as the young Saints beat their Chelsea counterparts 1-0 at Staplewood.
Hunter was unhappy with the general level of performance after the game, but reserved praise for Forster.
"Fraser's come to our rescue on at least two occasions in the second half," Hunter explained to youtube.com/southamptonfc.
"It's great to have him back. He looks relaxed, and it's obviously another part of his rehabilitation to get back into the first team.
"He's good – he talks and he's a very calming influence. The sheer stature of him is important on crosses and things like that. We conceded quite a few set plays and defended those well with his help.
"Their (Chelsea’s) staff were complimentary about the defending after the game. They've got some talented players who caused us some problems."