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YOUTH: Hard work pays off

4 September 2013

Davie Irons on last weekend's home win

Youth boss Davie Irons gave us his reaction to the convincing win over Port Vale last Saturday.

"It was a great result and I'm really pleased for the lads," he said. "I think you could see how much hard work they'd done on the training pitch and I'm really pleased that it's paying off for them. 

"We did a lot of defensive work on Thursday and a lot of attacking work on Friday, and it all came together perfectly on Saturday." 

"It just shows that hard work does pay off and I hope the lads have taken that on board," he added. "It's all about developing as players and I think they've now started to think about team shape and things like that, which is very pleasing. 

"Football is the same at any level, it's all about taking your chances. Everybody loves winning football matches and you can see that the lads are starting to realise that working hard brings results. That, in turn, brings a lot of confidence. 

"Even though the results aren't the most important thing for us everybody gets judged on how many games they win. It gives us all a huge lift when you win a game and all credit has to go to the lads for taking everything they are being told on board."

"The last few weeks have been a learning curve for all of us," he admitted. "We all had to get to know each other and find out how we were going to work together. I think we're there with that now and the good thing for me is that the whole group is determined to learn and improve. 

"We've said a couple of times that we need our second years to step up and I thought they did on Saturday. Kyle [Dempsey] scored three very good goals and that was a great response to the fact that we gave him the captain's armband. 

"I think he was disappointed that he hadn't been given it for the first couple of games but he knows what we expect from him now. If he carries on this way, with the attitude he is showing now, then that can only be good for all of us. 

"Patrick [Brough] and Danny Hodgson got our other goals and it's always pleasing when all three of your front players score. We had other chances, and we could even have scored more, but I don't think we can complain too much at five goals."

"We tried to play it out of defence and we added a bit of aggression into our game," he continued. "We kept a high line for the first time since I've been here and that is something we've been working on. I've tried to explain to them that there is an art to defending as well as attacking and they do seem to be grasping that concept. 

"I keep saying that results aren't the most important thing but there has been a massive difference in the lads this week. You can see that they're all really pleased with the goals they've got and it's important that they carry that on. 

"We're playing on Friday this week to help Macclesfield out and hopefully that will help us. When the lads are buzzing like they are at the moment you want to play your games as quickly as you can. We need to try and get some consistency and just because we've started well that doesn't mean they can stop working hard." 

"It doesn't matter what level you're at, if the players buy into what you're doing then you've got a chance," he continued. "I've been really impressed with how the lads have bought into the things we're telling them and there's a really good work ethic about them. 

"We said after Rochdale that we wanted the lads to think about why they're conceding goals and to look at how they can prevent it from happening. They seemed to do that on Saturday even though we did let a couple in.

"One of them was a deflected shot, which turned into an own goal, and the other one was because we were trying to play that high line. In a way I'm pleased, as daft as that sounds, because that's what we've asked them to do.

"The lads got used to it eventually and they managed to execute it well. We were compact and I think we caught them offside around ten times in the first half. Port Vale found it difficult to cope with and that's a pat on the back for the way we conducted ourselves right through the game."

United - Brass, Thomson (Bradbury 88), Marshall, Chisholm, Dickson, Wallace, White, Hammell (Blackburn 75), Hodgson, Dempsey, Brough. Subs - Eccles, Morley, Megan. 

Please note - the away game at Macclesfield this weekend has been brought forward by 24 hours. Kick off time is now 1pm on Friday 6 September.

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