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"What are Saints playing at?"

If you're asking that question, there's a clue here.

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

I've been quiet recently as I started writing something on Les Reed and Saints' development squad, which turned into what will be a longer piece, which then spawned an even longer piece on Reed and the FA. However, while I was researching it all, I stumbled across this clip of Les Reed speaking at the Global Sportstec Innovation Conference in 2014, and felt it might provide a brief but interesting insight into what the club's philosophy is.

Skip to 28 minutes and 27 seconds to hear Reed talk about the plan set out with Markus Liebherr after Nicola Cortese hired Reed. The crux of it was this:

"The philosophy was based on ‘Can we develop a team that will get in the Premier League, play in the top half of the Premier League, with 50% of our players developed through our academy. Can we get a team that can do that and be exciting for the fans?’"

For those fans bemoaning the lack of money spent on players, this might go some way to explaining why Saints prefer to invest in infrastructure and youth development.