Southampton record signing Sofiane Boufal is a doubt for the EFL Cup trip to Arsenal on Wednesday night (30 November) after missing the 1-0 victory over Everton due to injury. Meanwhile, manager Claude Puel explained that Steven Davis was also absent on Sunday through illness.
The French boss made six changes in his starting line-up to face Everton following the Europe League defeat to Sparta Praha, with both Boufal and Davis being left out of the squad due to injury and illness respectively.
Puel hailed his team's performance to secure the three points against the Toffees, as Charlie Austin's early goal was enough for Southampton to respond to the Europe League blow only three days before the EFL Cup trip to Arsenal.
"It was a difficult game to prepare for, because we lost our last game against Sparta Prague and we had the tiredness," the Southampton boss admitted after the game. "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."
Those absences encouraged Puel to hand youngster Josh Sims a full debut in an attack alongside Charlie Austin and Nathan Redmond. The 19-yer-old took the most of his chance, setting up Austin's winners in the 41 second of the game.
"For his first game in the Premier League, I think it was ok. He has made good progress since the beginning of the season. I think it was important to give him an opportunity," Puel said. "All the games are important and if we just consider this, we don't start young players.
"It's not a problem and I did this work at Lille and Lyon where I started young players. It's important to respect the philosophy of the club, of Southampton and the good work of the academy. This is a good thing to see all of the good young players."