Mark Hughes admitted he has been given some selection dilemmas after Saints defeated Everton in a dramatic penalty shootout to progress in the Carabao Cup.

Hughes made six changes to his side for the game and switched formation to three centre halves for a rare victory at Goodison Park.

Though the game ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to a late Theo Walcott equaliser, Saints got through 4-3 on spot kicks to book an away tie at Claude Puel’s Leicester in the fourth round.

Hughes smiled: “We seem to have a lot of late drama don’t we?

“I think it was deserved in terms of the overall result.

“Clearly we wanted to progress. And we’ve been able to do that and on the balance of the game itself I thought we were good value.

“We had good opportunities to increase the lead after Danny’s opener.

“We restricted a good Everton team to very few chances and kept the crowd quiet, which is always important when you come here. That was a consequence of retaining good control of a game that if you allow Everton a head of steam then it’s difficult to stop them, as we found at the end of the game.

“For the most part there was real determination to what we were trying to do.

“A number of guys came into the team having been out for the start of the season and hadn’t had much game time, certainly the guys at the back, and credit to them.

“It is important to keep your focus and be engaged in what the team’s doing and what information is being given out and be focused on what we are trying to achieve and if you do that you can come in and make an impact and do well for the team.

“Everyone who came in tonight did that.”

Hughes now has plenty to consider before Chelsea visit St Mary’s on Sunday.

“I didn’t want to make changes and none of the guys impress me,” he insisted.

“I didn’t anticipate that, I didn’t expect that I would have no one on the night to make me question my own decisions.

“I always have had options. I have always known that but it’s always about getting the options right on the pitch.

“There were a number of things I wanted to look at, giving game time to good players and players who hadn’t done anything wrong but by virtue of the squad being fit and healthy have had to sit in the stands when they didn’t deserve that.

“I needed to give good time to good professionals but also be able to look at a number of things that I think might help us. We have been able to tick a lot of boxes, the main one being that we have progressed in the competition.”