James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond thought they were in trouble when Southampton boss Claude Puel hauled them into his office.
But the Southampton duo were delighted when they left after their manager told them they had been named in the England squad.
Midfielder Ward-Prowse and winger-turned-striker Redmond were two of England boss Gareth Southgate's surprise choices for the forthcoming internationals against Germany and Lithuania.
And Puel could not resist teasing the uncapped pair before giving them the good news.
"I told them I had a problem with their attitude in the training session, and to ask their opinion," said the Frenchman.
"Then after I told them the news I said I couldn't understand why.
"But of course it's fantastic for them and for the club. I t's a good thing for them and congratulations to them and to the club.
"All the staff who train them have been important for their progress and it's a good reward for all."
Ward-Prowse has been with Southampton since the age of eight, and the club celebrated his call-up by posting a video of him as a 13-year-old stating his desire to play for England.
Such is the impression Ward-Prowse has made on Puel, the 22-year-old would even have his manager's blessing to ask his daughter out.
"The policy in this club for a lot of seasons has been to work with quality, for the promotion and evolution of young players, and it's important we continue," added Puel.
"You can see with James, I looked at the interview when he was young, it was the same spirit - I think James is the ideal son-in-law!
"He's an intelligent player, he wants to make progress. It's easy to train James.
"For Nathan, he's also a talented player, but sometimes he didn't listen enough. But he has made progress since the beginning of the season.
"It's important he understands he has all the quality to become a very good striker with his feet and his quality. He can score all the goals and give good assists.
"It's a good reward for them and their work."