Southampton manager Nigel Adkins hailed the performance of substitute winger Adam Lallana, whose goal moments after coming on earned Saints a 2-1 win and a place in the last 16 of the Carling Cup at the expense of Preston.
Former England Under-21 international Lallana made his presence felt within 90 seconds of being introduced, stooping low to finish off a move he began. Until Lallana's winner the game had been heading for extra-time after Adam Barton had scrappily equalised for Preston in the 52nd minute to cancel out a Jos Hooiveld headed opener in the first half.
"He is a class act and scored a great goal when the game was evenly poised. It was a great impact from a very talented player," said Adkins.
"It was a good game for our young players. Ben (Reeves), in particular, played very well on debut. I was really pleased with his contribution. He looked very assured on the ball.
"It's a valuable victory. We were able to start 10 different players and utilise our squad depth.
"We've got a tough week coming up with Burnley, Cardiff and Watford but there is a good unity in the squad and a growing competition for starting places, which is only a good thing to have."
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