Clive Allen has heaped praise on the rejuvenated Paul O'Donoghue.
The young defender has endured a dreadful last year or so through injury but has returned this season fully fit and looking like a new player.
Development coach Clive has been impressed enough to hand the 20-year-old from Lewisham the captain's armband on a couple of occasions.
"Paul had a tough second half to last season," said Clive. "He was injured for a long period and it was difficult for him jut to play a few games at the end of last season.
"But he's come through pre-season and he's fit, well and strong."
Paul showed up well against the twin-Premiership attack of ex-Spur Peter Crouch and Brett Ormorod at Southampton last time, even though Crouch scored twice in a 3-0 defeat for our young side.
"He actually asked me afterwards how you should play someone like Peter Crouch after the situation he was in and I thought he did particularly well under pressure," reported Clive.
"I told him Crouchy has showed why he's played in the Premiership and why he is sought after by a lot of clubs.
"It was difficult for Paul to handle and the back four to handle but he's asking questions and wants to learn.
"I thought what he gave was a captain's performance and he was one of our outstanding performers in what was a difficult game."