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YOUTH: Things we need to work on

19 November 2013

Dave Wilkes on the Accrington draw

Youth team coach Dave Wilkes spoke to us following the away draw at Accrington on Saturday.

"We started very well, which was pleasing, and we scored a goal in the first ten minutes," he said. "Danny Hodgson got in behind on the right and he squared it across for Patrick Brough to slot it home. 

"We had a lot of possession and we tried to get in behind them quite a few times, but they are a very hard working team. You can tell that their coaches tell them to step onto the opposition and put them under pressure when they have the ball, so the first half did get more difficult as it progressed.

"They got a foothold back into the game and we didn't really get going at the start of the second half. They scored just after half time from the second phase of a free kick. It was a bit of a scrappy goal which was disappointing. 

"We changed the shape of the team after that which did help us a little bit and both teams had a lot of chances."

"We're a little bit disappointed with the result but I think overall a draw was probably fair," he admitted. "It was a physical game rather than a tactical one because that's the type of team they are. 

"The lads had a really good go at it and they have given us plenty to work with. They just need to develop their intelligence and understanding of the game. The majority of them have just left school so they're learning all the time.

"There's a lot of little things we need to work on. They'll come together from playing more games and gaining more experience. The confidence in the group is still there but that obviously comes and develops from results. The lads can get a bit fragile when there's any sort of pressure on them and that's something they'll have to learn to deal with.

"We've said it before but we have got a young group this year. If you look at our second years there is a huge difference in them. Unfortunately Kyle [Dempey] and Connor [Thomson] have been injured for a lot of the season and that hasn't helped us at all. However, the experience the younger ones are getting at the moment is vital for their development so it will stand them in good stead."

United - Brass, Chisholm, Marshall, White (Elliott 60), Dickson, Scott, Hodgson, Hammell, Blackburn, Moyes, Brough. Subs - Eccles, Rudd, Douglas.

Next up for the young Blues is a home game against Wigan Athletic this weekend.

"Wigan are usually a strong side but they've had a stop start to the season so far," Wilkes said. "It's a home game and I'm sure the lads will go into it looking to improve on some of the good stuff they have done in the last few weeks.

"Like I say, Wigan are a very good side so the lads will have to work hard on and off the ball. It's one to look forward to though."

United Youth v Wigan Youth, Saturday 23 November, Creighton Rugby Club, kick off 12pm

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