YOUTH: We have to defend better

Eric Kinder on the Bury game

Youth boss Eric Kinder spoke to us about the 6-3 victory over Bury on Thursday afternoon.

“We got the job done but we didn’t it have it our own way by any means,” he said.

“Defensively we were very poor and I think that’s a criticism we have had all season. We seem to concede goals from corners in every game and that is really disappointing.

“Our back five are all second years and we can’t offer any excuses for it. I don’t know why it has gone this way because we work hard at it and we talk about it all the time.

“It comes down to players wanting to take responsibility and at the moment it looks like they don’t want to do that part of the game. We’re coming to the end of a season where we have under-achieved and the biggest factor in that is the number of goals we concede.”

“I think we’ve said a number of times that we have to work harder when we don’t have the ball,” he continued. “We have to be braver at set-pieces, but it’s a message we have to keep repeating. They do it right when you go over and over it in training but there’s not much you can do if they don’t want to do when they get into a game.”

“We’ve been fairly negative there but there are a lot of positives to take from the game as well,” he said. “Alex Salmon has got his four goals and he will be unbearable for the next week, because he has a real arrogance about him. 

“If you are arrogant then you have to back it up, and you can’t argue with the number of goals he has scored. That’s the third time he has scored four goals in a game this season, and I don’t mind people being cocky if they do the job as well.”

“Young Frankie Wallace looks a real prospect for us,” he added. “He’s a schoolboy who has never played for an academy or a centre of excellence. We found him through a contact of mine while he was playing for Newcastle City Boys Club and he has made a real impression. 

“He works hard, he tackles and he takes people on. He has showed us today that he can score goals and he’s getting better and better as each week goes by. Hopefully he will develop into a really good player for us over the next two years because he certainly has all of the attributes.”

“I’ve told the group that they owe it to themselves to finish the season off properly,” he told us. “The last thing they want is to get to May and have any doubt at all that they gave it their best shot. We still have six games to play and no decisions have been made.

“I’ve been doing this job for long enough to know what the second years are going through. All they want is a decision. It’s still a few weeks away yet and what they can do in the mean time is everything possible to influence it positively.”

“We had spells in this game where we looked absolutely horrendous,” he said. “Then again, we had periods where we looked terrific. That’s youth football for you in a nutshell. 

“The focus now for these lads is the Youth Cup final against Walsall next Wednesday. If we defend better then we know we have strikers who can score and that will win us the game. If we don’t do the job at the back then we’ll be punished. We’ll work on it over the course of the early part of the week and hopefully it’ll be a nice little feather in the cap for them.”

United – Parker, Gwinnutt, Staunch (McEvoy 82), Morse, Minor, Wallace, Lynch, Berwick, Dempsey (Thomson 72), Brough (Chisholm 79), Salmon. Subs – Brass, Clarey.
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